Uber moves beyond ride-hailing with car-sharing, more biking

Uber to acquire self-service bicycle firm

Uber Introduces New App for Drivers

Uber Rent will allow users to rent nearby cars from established vehicle sharing service Getaround right from the Uber app, the companies announced today in a press release. Those modes include ride-hailing, auto rentals, public transportation and more. "We called drivers "partners", but didn't always act like it", said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, in a blog post revealing the new app that was published on Tuesday, March 10.

'That's why we want to provide alternatives to personal auto ownership by bringing together multiple modes of transportation right in our app, ' he added. The company also says a Jump fleet expansion is in the works, allowing the e-bike start-up's local head count to grow from 200 to 400 bikes - the maximum allowed under D.C.'s dockless bike-share pilot.

Getaround's offerings will appear through a side menu in the Uber app. Users will be able to find and unlock an available auto from their phones using wireless technology. Cars can be rented by the hour, or the day, with insurance and 24/7 roadside assistance included.

Getaround views its auto rentals as complementing Uber and Lyft's on-demand rides and helping to move Americans away from private vehicle ownership. And it wants to prime its user base by providing access to multiple means of transportation that meet a variety of needs that makes it easier to ditch their cars. Uber Bike by Jump, as it is known, is now test in San Francisco allowing users to hire dockless electric bikes directly from the Uber app.

Uber users in DC can find and book an electric bike directly through the app.

Uber has also been blamed for steering people away from mass transit and into Uber operated vehicles, further increasing traffic woes. It is expected to expand later to all cities with the JUMP bikes.

Because they are dockless, they can be left at any public bike rack, eliminating a lot of the infrastructure cost other bike-share companies incur, and their location is tracked via Global Positioning System.

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Uber has announced that San Franciscans will soon be able to reserve electric bikes using the vehicle sharing app.

Users can tap the "bike" option on the app's menu, which then allows them to see nearby available bikes and reserve one.

They are sent a PIN to unlock the bike they choose. Jump bikes cost $2 per 30-minute ride.

When customers reach their destination they can leave their rented bike at any public bike rack. "Additionally, these guys get a $25 Out-of-System Parking Fee and $5/month during the second year as a member", Jump Bikes says.

Rescue by Flare Emergency Response will offer free first aid trainings to Uber drivers on a monthly basis while drivers visiting MP-Shah Hospital desk will receive regular free medical checkups. And the company is adding the capability to transfer from an Uber ride to a bus or subway.

There is now a wait list for San Francisco residents who want to try out the new feature.

It's part of an aggressive push Uber is making to position itself as a general mobility platform, rather than the simple ride-hailing app that propelled it into a $70 billion commodity. In the United States alone, public transit is up 34% from 1995.

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