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Uber is trying its hand at bike sharing


The world’s largest ride-hailer is branching out into another mode of transport: bicycles.

Background: Some bike-sharing schemes, with bikes docked and unlocked via a kiosk, have existed in US and European cities for a while. But last year more dockless, app-unlocked versions began to appear—especially in China, where startups such as Ofo and Mobike have become incredibly successful.

The news: Uber is now teaming up with startup JUMP to provide people with dockless, shared bikes in San Francisco from next week. Called Uber Bike, customers will be able to book out a bike from the regular Uber app. As TechCrunch notes: “To be clear, the bikes will not be brought to people.” You’ll have to get to it yourself.

Why it matters: Not all journeys need a car: biking can be faster during rush hour. Investors agree. In China, millions of dollars of investment have been poured into bike-sharing schemes—and Uber is keen not to miss out on the trend.