Uber launches its electric bicycle rental in the UK and tests jumping bikes in London via its app.
The worldwide driving business is fighting with Lime for the e-bike market after the retreat of bicycle companies without a port from the UK.
Uber is installing 350 bright red e-bikes in Islington and hopes to expand to other London boroughs in the coming months.
Jumping bicycles are available in the United States and Canada and five other European cities, where e-scooter systems are also shared under the same brand in some places, although they remain prohibited on British roads.
Uber users can find the GPS-powered e-bikes in the ride retrieval app, unlock them by scanning the QR code on the handlebars for £ 1 and then 12 p per minute to drive . To prevent dumping and clutter that have malicious councils, e-bike riders who try to park off-limits in protected areas such as stadiums, canals and royal parks are automatically alerted and fined £ 25 if they do not move the bike.
The move is the latest extension of Uber's controversial model in London, where the company recently began describing public transportation options in its app. Regional general manager, Jamie Heywood, said it was "our goal to help people replace their cars with their phones by offering a range of mobility options."
Islington, the first municipality to allow jumping bikes, said the service would help people travel through the town quickly, cheaply, and easily. Councilor Claudia Webbe said, "Shared electric bicycles are accessible to many people of different ages and fitness levels and can encourage even more people to switch to cycling, which is healthier and more environmentally friendly."
Cycling UK said that e-bikes would allow people to commute further on two wheels. "More importantly, they are an attractive option for those who lack the confidence to ride a bike, whether due to age, physical ability, health or otherwise," said Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns.
Although the permission to implement the schemes lies primarily with the boroughs, Transport for London is generally seen as the initiative of Uber, with which it has had a loaded relationship in the past – including the renewal of its license to operate private rental vehicles in 2017.
Uber has signed a memorandum of understanding with Islington on standards, including procedures for reporting bicycles that cause an obstruction. Cycling block sidewalks was a well-known complaint during the first influx of dockless bike schedules. The Chinese company Ofo announced earlier this year that they are withdrawing from Sheffield, Norwich and London, while rival Mobike has scaled back his ambitions in the UK, including full withdrawal from Manchester after being shocked by the level of antisocial behavior. Two other companies, Urbo and oBike, briefly operated in the suburbs of London without success.
Although TfL manages its own Santander bike rental plan using docks or bays around central London, it has welcomed the growth of apparently competitive, dockless schedules to encourage more bicycles in general, with Santander tenants reaching record numbers.
A spokesperson for TfL said: "E-bikes have the potential to allow many more people to enjoy the benefits of cycling, which helps us to achieve our goal of making London the world's best big city for cycling. They are a great way to travel quickly through the city and in turn help reduce traffic jams and tackle poor air quality. "
The American micro-mobility company has made its name with e-scooters – but they are banned in British streets. The electric bike plan was launched in Milton Keynes last year, followed by Brent and Ealing in London, for a fee of £ 1 and 15p per hour.
Scaled back operations in the UK for his dockless bicycles, but are still hanging in parts of the capital where other Chinese companies have left. Long-term passes are available at 50p-£ 1 per 20 minutes.
The original of TfL, which operates in the center of London, with bicycles returned to fixed loading bays. £ 2 to unlock bikes for 24 hours, with the first 30 minutes of free bikes.
British company behind the green laser lights on bicycles, now setting up a dockless bicycle share scheme in Bournemouth and Poole and currently being tried by the North London councilors in Enfield.