Uber Is Launching Its Dockless e-Bike Service Jump in Melbourne Next Month
A fleet of electric bikes will be rolled out across three city councils for the service's Australian launch.
February 06, 2020
Melbourne's seen its fair share of dockless bike share systems rolled out (and often axed) over the years. But things are shifting up a gear this year, with the city's first ever long-term dockless share scheme for electric bikes set to launch next month. The City of Melbourne, the City of Yarra and the City of Port Phillip have announced they'll kick-start a one-year trial with Uber's much-hyped e-bike service, Jump.
Jump has already been embraced by cities across the US and Europe, and is en route to our neighbours in Auckland, but this will be its Australian launch. When it lands in Melbourne from early March, the bright red pedal-assisted bikes will be available to hire through your regular Uber app. You'll just need to switch to bike mode, where you'll be able to see available bikes and use the app to unlock one and ride away.
The bikes will be available to ride within the three inner city councils, which includes the CBD and Docklands, West Melbourne (and over to Flemington), the inner north (Carlton, North Melbourne, Fitzroy and Richmond) and down to the bay (Port Melbourne, South Melbourne, Albert Park, St Kilda and Elwood).
In another effort to avoid the woes of past bike share networks, the councils have signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining the rules and regulations Jump will need to stick to in order to keep operating in Melbourne past the 12-month trial. The company using geo-fencing technologies and remote monitoring to keep track of its fleet. Hopefully that'll help curb the number of bikes ditched in trees, creeks and other questionable spots around the city, as was mostly the downfall of previous players like oBike.
As well as laying down requirements for parking and maintenance, it stipulates firm resolution timeframes for damaged or discarded e-bikes. Taking care of service and maintenance will be the crew from Good Cycles, a Melbourne-based social enterprise that trains and employees disadvantaged youth.
The city is set to score 400 Jump bikes as the trial launches, with more headed to Yarra and Port Phillip areas in the following months. This will somewhat replace the City of Melbourne's blue bike share scheme, which was abandoned last year.
Riders will, of course, have to don a helmet and play by the usual road rules when cruising around on a Jump bike. Prices haven't yet been confirmed but, for reference, in New Zealand the bikes cost $1 (NZD) to unlock and then $0.38 per minute after that.
Uber hasn't announced any plans to launch Jump in any other Australian cities yet, but if the trial goes well, we'd expect that it will in the near future.
You can expect to see the Jump bike option in your Uber app from early March. We'll let you know when it launches. You can find more info on the Jump bikes here.
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