Uber To Pull Jump Bikes From Atlanta And San Diego
Uber's bright red Jump bikes will no longer be seen on the streets of San Diego and Atlanta.
The company has confirmed it will soon pull its ride-share bikes from those two cities. Over the summer, both San Diego and Atlanta ratcheted up regulations on shareable bikes and electric scooters.
The company's bikes are also temporarily unavailable in Providence, R.I., according to Uber spokesman Matthew Wing. The company also stopped bike-sharing in Dallas and San Antonio earlier this summer, after announcing it would close down in Staten Island, N.Y.
The move comes at a tough time for Uber. The company laid off more than 400 workers earlier this week, as the ride-hailing company continues to struggle financially.
At the same time, there have been clashes in many communities over shareable electric scooters and bikes from companies like Uber, Bird and Lime. Neighborhood advocates say the bikes and scooters clutter cities and cause public safety concerns. Some communities have banned the use of these scooters and bikes at night.
Uber's Wing cited regulatory costs as part of the decision to end operations in San Diego.
San Diego Councilwoman Barbara Bry had called for a temporary ban on electric scooters until a plan to protect public and environmental safety was developed.
Uber will also pull electric scooters from San Diego as of Sept. 19, although their scooters will remain in Atlanta.
The spokesman said Uber plans to work with the city to create "sensible" regulations. He said the company looks forward to returning to San Diego in the future.
One way to regulate scooters and bikes could be to limit companies from growing their fleets until they can show the vehicles are being used multiple times a day, rather than clogging the streets, Wing said.
Bike and scooter sharing has also made waves in Atlanta.
Wing did not specify why bikes were being pulled from Atlanta, but the city has placed more regulations on them. In August, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms banned the use of dockless bikes and scooters at night, according to a press release.
"Sadly, we have seen a pattern in the recent and tragic fatalities involving scooters – they all occurred after sunset," Bottoms said in the release. "This nighttime ban, while we continue to develop further long-term measures, will ensure the safest street conditions for scooter riders, motorists, cyclists, those in wheelchairs and pedestrians."
In Providence, Uber's Jump bikes have been temporarily removed because the bikes were being vandalized, Wing said.
"We remain committed to operating in Providence and plan to work with the city on a solution that will hopefully allow us to return some bikes this fall," Wing said.
Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.