Uber's bikes proving more popular than its cars

February 28, 2019

One U.S. city actually prefers Uber's eBikes to traditional ride-hailing, and the results came as a shock to the company itself.

Sacramento, California, residents are more likely to rent Uber's Jump bikes than hail its cars by a 53 to 47 percent margin, The Sacramento Bee reported Monday. Uber said it always assumed the Jump bikes service, which it acquired in 2018, would be popular in areas where cycling is encouraged, but the results came as a surprise. Alex Hagelin, head of the Jump bike program, said it's the first time the company has seen the results shift in favor of the bicycles in cities where Uber offers both services.

CHECK OUT: Study: Uber, Lyft have made traffic worse in San Francisco

The study was conducted in the e-bike service area, which covers the central and western parts of the city and Davis, a college town that's incidentally home to the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame.

Additionally, the data didn't include Uber rides from Sacramento International Airport north of town, which could have tipped the results in favor of car rides. About 1,000 Jump bikes are in service across the area and users take 6,500 trips per day in good weather (i.e. when it's not raining).

READ THIS: Uber to prioritize bikes, scooters over cars for short journeys

The introduction of new mobility services via Uber is part of the company's plan to provide more options for users. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has previously commented on expanding services and recognized a car is often not the best way to reach a desired location. Uber and rival Lyft have also been blamed for increasing traffic congestion in major U.S. cities such as San Francisco and New York City. In August of 2018, New York City capped the number of ride-hailing vehicles on its streets and issued a one-year freeze on new licenses.

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