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Uber agrees to buy electric cycle-sharing startup JUMP Bikes

SAN FRANCISCO: Ride-hailing company Uber said on Monday it has agreed to buy electric bicycle service JUMP Bikes, allowing Uber to offer US passengers an alternative to cars and further consolidating the crowded bike-sharing industry.

JUMP is a dockless electric bike service that has rolled out in San Francisco, where it has 250 bikes, and Washington. About 100 JUMP employees will join Uber, an Uber spokeswoman said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal furthers Uber’s goal of offering “the fastest or most affordable way to get where you’re going, whether that’s in an Uber, on a bike, on the subway, or more,” said company Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi.

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JUMP bikes had already integrated its service with Uber’s smartphone app in San Francisco, so that users could find one of JUMP’s bright red bicycles by opening the Uber app. The company spokeswoman said the company had no plans to withdraw the standalone JUMP app.

“We’re excited to begin our next chapter and to play a significant part in the transition of company to a multi-modal platform” and help “shift millions of trips from cars to bikes,” said JUMP CEO Ryan Rzepecki.

With the addition of bicycles, company is taking a page from the playbook of competitors such as China’s Didi Chuxing. Company has at times lagged rivals in certain markets because it has been limited to private car-hailing.

JUMP started in 2010 as Social Bicycles, evolving over the past eight years from selling bikes to operating its own fleets. JUMP bikes are unlocked and locked using a smartphone app. Because they are dockless, they can be left at any bike rack and their location is tracked via GPS.

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