Uber has just launched its first scooter-sharing service as part of further efforts to diversify its business.Coming only a few weeks after ridesharing rival Lyft launched its first scooter service in Denver, Colorado, Uber has chosen the Californian city of Santa Monica for its own debut.Uber’s electric scooters don’t bear its company branding — the service is operated by Jump, the bike- and scooter-sharing business that it acquired in April, 2018.Each of the 250 red-colored electric scooters can be rented via the Uber app.Riders can see nearby available scooters on a map, and reserve them straight away for $1.Rental costs 15 cents a minute but that doesn’t kick until the first five minutes have passed.
Riders now have the option of hailing a car or renting a bike or scooter from the Uber app in the city."As we work towards having your phone replace your car, we're thinking about all the possible times you'd hop in the car and go, and what smart, equally as convenient option we could offer to get you there instead," Rhea Dookeran, Uber's scooter product manager, wrote in a blog post.Uber's bikes and scooters are branded under the Jump moniker.Uber acquired Jump, a dockless bicycle rental service, in April.Like Jump bicycles, the scooters will be red and black with a white "Jump" logo.More than a dozen companies have launched the vehicles in major cities and college towns across the US.
Following approval from the city of Santa Monica, Uber is deploying bikes and its first set of scooters via JUMP, the bikeshare startup it acquired earlier this year.Although these are Xiaomi Ninebot scooters, Uber says it’s branding them with JUMP for the sake of consistency when it comes to its personal electric vehicle services.People have grown to know, love and appreciate the quality of the product that JUMP offers and we’re building on that brand equity — investing further, and that was one of the major drivers,” Uber Scooter Product Manager Rhea Dookeran told TechCrunch.As part of the pilot program, Uber can have up to 500 bikes and 250 scooters on the streets at any one time.Riders must also be sure to stay within the service area of Santa Monica, and not venture out into the broader Los Angeles area.In mid September, Lyft launched electric scooters in Santa Monica just a couple of weeks after the company deployed them in Denver, Colo.