Uber announced it plans roll out an electric-bicycle service to Europe this year. The company is slowly diversifying its offerings to include more environmentally friendly and sustainable transportation options.
This move comes on the heals of a 100 million dollar acquisition it shelled out for NYC based, electric bike sharing start-up, JUMP Bikes.
Uber aims to bring its JUMP Bike rental service to Berlin before the end of this summer, with other European cities to follow soon after.
Uber, is aiming to present itself not merely as a ride-hailing company. But more as an infrastructure company that brings together all the ways you might get around a city. It wants to be the software layer for urban transportation and city planning. It has already partnered with a few municipal governments and transit agencies to accomplish this underlying mission.
This recent announcement also highlights its focus towards more sustainable and environmentally forms of transportation. The last thing cities need is more cars on the road. Uber seems to realize this. But Uber isn’t that only company coming to this realization.
As Uber looks to diversify its transportation offerings, it continues to put itself in direct competition alternative transportation startups like Bird, Spin, Waybots and LimeBike. These firms offer dockless e-scooters & bike-share for people in cities as a way to beat traffic.
Found parking pic.twitter.com/LxqoJyH10t
— Niv Dror (@Nivo0o0) April 21, 2018
In cities like San Francisco e-scooters have exploded in popularity. So much so that city officials have scrambled to figures out how to handle permitting for these kinds of services.
Then there is Lyft, which is not to be forgotten in this regard. It also looks to square up against Uber and some of the newer players on these alternative transportation fronts. Ride-hailing companies are diversifying away from their core business, but right into more direct competition
While this could present a challenge to these firms, it could ultimately be a great thing for consumers of these services. Both from a cost and services stand point, but also from an environmental standpoint. Whatever can lead to less traffic on our roads – I think I’m all for it!
If you enjoyed this article, check out this article on the most sustainable transportation systems in the world.