Skip to Content
Smart cities

Uber acquired a dockless-bike firm but has a hard ride ahead

The world’s biggest ride-hailer is confident that you’ll want to bike part of your journey to beat congestion. Some cities might not be quite so keen to let Uber be the firm to fill their streets with bicycles, though.

The news: Uber has acquired Jump Bikes, which rents out bright-red electric bicycles that can be picked up and left anywhere, to customers in Washington and San Francisco for $2 per 30 minutes. Uber hasn’t released details of the acquisition.

Why it happened: Uber says it’s “committed to bringing together multiple modes of transportation” so that its customers “can choose the fastest or most affordable way” to get around. Biking can definitely be faster than taking a car during rush hour. It’s also a good, eco-friendly PR move.

But: There’s a risk the service eats some of Uber’s shorter car journeys. It’s a crowded market, with competing firms and civic schemes already present in many towns. And some cities have been plagued with abandoned dockless bikes, which means officials may be wary of letting Uber flood the street with them—particularly given the firm’s track record at flouting rules.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

This startup wants to copy you into an embryo for organ harvesting

With plans to create realistic synthetic embryos, grown in jars, Renewal Bio is on a journey to the horizon of science and ethics.

VR is as good as psychedelics at helping people reach transcendence

On key metrics, a VR experience elicited a response indistinguishable from subjects who took medium doses of LSD or magic mushrooms.

This nanoparticle could be the key to a universal covid vaccine

Ending the covid pandemic might well require a vaccine that protects against any new strains. Researchers may have found a strategy that will work.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.