The U.S. based Uber, which provides ride-hailing services through its mobile application, launched an electric bicycle rental scheme named JUMP at a conference center in Berlin. An innovator in the automotive industry, Uber will be competing with other Chinese, American and local firms providing similar bike sharing facilities in Germany.
Reportedly, JUMP is already effective in Washington D.C. and San Francisco in the United States. Uber expects to completely roll out the service in Berlin by the end of this summer, with plans in motion to introduce JUMP in more European cities over next year.
Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, is optimistic that his venture will help to resolve the company’s relations with German legislators. Sources confirm that since Uber started aggressive expansion into the European market in 2014, it faced opposition from traditional taxi drivers. Major city councils, including London, alleged that its services would lead to increased traffic congestion in urban areas. Subsequently, the company faced many unfavorable decisions from various courts in Europe, substantially limiting the services of Uber in countries like Germany, Italy, Spain, France and Belgium. This also restricted Uber to take advantage of the growing automotive industry in Europe, claim reports.
While German taxi drivers lined in protest outside the conference center, Khosrowshahi commented that Uber had a terrible start in Germany and has now returned to work with the local government to make their new service a success. He believes Uber could assist Germany in finding solutions for its transport problems like air pollution, congestion and pursuit towards affordable eco-friendly mobility. Khosrowshahi also admitted that certain reports which accused Uber of encouraging a chauvinist work culture had damaged the company’s reputation in the automotive industry.
With Uber bringing JUMP scheme into Germany, it will face a tremendous challenge in finding space for its bikes owing to competition from other players. Even the local authorities are presently unable to allocate places for the bikes which are often thrown away into canals and rivers.