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Uber buys dockless bike-share company Jump

The cherry-red bike startup is here for the ride-hailing giant’s offer

Beleaguered ride-hailing company Uber announced today that it will acquire Jump (née Social Bicycles), the dockless bike-share outfit that sprouted up in San Francisco in January. While no hard figures have been announced, Uber reportedly forked over somewhere in the ballpark of $100 million for the deal, according to TechCrunch.

Why would Uber buy a bike-share company? Recode has more:

Jump Bikes launched in San Francisco in January with 250 electric bikes. By February, Jump had launched a pilot service in partnership with Uber. By the end of February, its first full month of operation, the company said each of its bikes saw up to four trips per day at an average distance of 2.6 miles.

That’s as many as 1,000 trips a day or 28,000 trips that month. In other words, those are 28,000 trips that Uber could have gotten a bigger piece of.

The deal will also give Uber access to Jump’s 12,000 dockless bikes in 40 cities around the world.

Jump bikes cost a mere $2 if it takes you less than 30 minutes to ride to your destination. Compared to a $20-plus Uber ride from downtown to Presidio Heights during surge hours, it’s a tough deal to beat—if you are physically capable of cycling.

While Jump bikes are not yet regulated, the electric-pedal company received exclusive permission from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority (SFMTA) to kickstart service in the city. “Since dockless bikes are pretty new in the U.S., SFMTA is using the next 18 months to assess the program to see if it works before allowing Jump to offer its services in the long term,” reports The Verge.

But there’s tough competition out there: The company’s 250 red electric bikes in San Francisco now share the road (and, most frustratingly, sidewalks) with a bevy of other newfangled modes of transportation. This month, bikes and e-scooters from startups LimeBike and Spin have taken the city by storm, for better or for worse.