JUMP: Uber rolls out 350 electric bicycles in Islington pilot
PUBLISHED: 10:03 24 May 2019 | UPDATED: 10:40 24 May 2019
Uber has rolled out 350 electric hire bikes in Islington as part of a pilot it hopes to emulate across London.
The US transport giant will charge £1 to unlock a JUMP bike and £7.20 an hour to ride it - with the first five minutes free.
But the 15mph vehicles, located through GPS and loaned through the Uber app, have clearly marked no parking zones around areas such as hospitals, stadium and canals - with a £25 fine for those who park in the wrong place and fail to move the bike.
JUMP general manager in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Christian Freese, said: "We're excited to bring JUMP bikes to Islington, our first launch in London. With our electric bikes, we hope to encourage more people to try an environmentally friendly way to get across the city.
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"Our JUMP bikes have been designed with safety in mind, with a sturdy frame and a bright red colour that makes them visible to other road users. The app explains features of the bike before your first trip so you can ride confidently. We encourage everyone to think about wearing a helmet, follow all traffic laws and brake early and gradually."
The company is positioning the bikes near stations, high streets and parks across the borough - and it estimates you can ride from Finsbury Park to the Barbican for about £2.30 or from Highbury Fields to Old Street for roughly £1.40.
Islington's transport and environment chief Cllr Claudia Webbe said: "We're working hard to make Islington an attractive and easier place to walk and cycle. We're pleased to welcome JUMP to Islington - bike sharing offers a simple way for many residents, workers and visitors to get around quickly, cheaply and conveniently.
"Shared electric bikes are accessible to many people of different ages and fitness levels, and can help encourage even more people to switch to cycling, which is healthier and more environmentally friendly."
Green party transport spokesperson Cllr Caroline Russell told the Gazette: "It's good to see shared e-bikes becoming more available but this just emphasises the urgent need to make our streets less hostile. Even with electric assistance, no bike can overcome the barriers present in Islington's traffic dominated streets. Unless we have more liveable neighbourhoods, less car parking and some protected bike tracks on our main roads, we won't see a wider group of people on bikes."
In March, another transport firm, Lime, introduced bikes to the borough which cost £1 to unlock an £9 per hour to ride.