Uber To Focus On E-Bike Mobility
SAN FRANCISCO, USA – Uber is planning a shift in focus from cars to e-bikes and scooters for shorter journeys as part of its long-term strategy. According to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi “More individual modes of transport are better suited to inner-city travel, despite its competition with existing Uber’s drivers.”
Last February Uber already entered the international bicycle market by adding e-bikes to its app and by acquiring the bike-sharing company ‘Jump’ last April. Today the Jump bikes are available in eight U.S. cities and are planned to be launched in Berlin, Germany. “During rush hour, it is very inefficient to take one person 10 blocks by car,” Khosrowshahi told the Financial Times in an interview. “We are able to shape behaviour in a way that’s a win for users and cities. Short-term financially, maybe it’s not a win for us, but strategically long term we think that is exactly where we want to head.”
Less money from a bike ride
In the Financial Times interview the Uber CEO admitted that Uber makes less money from a bike ride than from the same journey in a car, but he expects that in the end customers will use the app for more journeys more regularly. The company has already seen this effect with cyclists in San Francisco.
Khosrowshahi also acknowledged that Uber drivers would feel the competition from potential passengers who decide to take a bike instead of the car. “But in the longer term, drivers would benefit from a higher proportion of more lucrative longer rides and less congested roads. I am convinced that short-term losses are necessary to achieve longer-term goals. A part of is a focus away from cars in inner cities.”
Uber takes its shift in strategy seriously shown by recent deals with ‘Lime’, an electric scooter company, and ‘Masabi’, a London-based app that provides mobile ticketing for public transport, with the aim of building what Khosrowshahi calls an ‘urban mobility platform’.