Uber has removed all its Jump bikes from the streets of London, and they will remain “temporarily unavailable” until further notice.
Lime told Tech Advisor that UK Jump bikes will be "redeployed in London in a matter of weeks once we integrate them into our system".
“We are still assessing and analyzing the performance of every market to ensure long-term resilience of the business so that we remain a safe and reliable transportation option for cities around the world as we come out of this crisis,” said Ghassan Haddad, Head of Public Policy for Lime in Europe, Middle-East and Africa.
This is unfortunate timing with the UK trying to get its people back to work but avoiding public transport during the lockdown.
The transport/technology company says that “bikes will soon be available to rent in both the Uber and Lime apps”.
“Together, we’re excited to continue to make electric bikes available to you,” Uber told its UK users today.
Lime bikes were first seen on the streets of London in December 2018 in the boroughs of Brent and Ealing. Uber followed in May 2019 with 350 of its Jump electric bikes in the London borough of Islington.
Uber Jump bikes cost £1 to unlock and 12p per minute to use. Lime are the same pound to unlock but more expensive at 15p a minute.
You can always buy an electric bicycle, read our roundup of the best electric bikes.
At the start of May, Lime and Uber announced their partnership in the US. Uber had reportedly been losing $60m (£47m) a quarter on the Jump business.
Uber Jump was available in 25 cities worldwide.
“Uber is leading a $170 million dollar investment round with participation from Alphabet, Bain Capital Ventures, GV and other existing and new investors,” stated Lime on May 7.
At the same time, 6,700 people lost their jobs at Uber.
As part of that investment, Lime acquired JUMP’s business operations and will further expand its mobile app integration with Uber.
There was shock when images emerged of Uber crushing thousands of its electric bicycles. Reports suggest up to 20,000 bikes were due to be destroyed following the Lime/Uber deal.
One former employee blamed "laziness" for the destructive decision.
5,000 Uber Jump bikes were later saved after the outcry, with the company saying that it was looking for alternative ways of disposing of its bikes.
Andrew Savage, Lime’s head of sustainability, called Uber’s US destruction of its bikes “hugely unfortunate,” claiming that Lime had “virtually no control” over the decision.
Uber acquired New York startup Jump for around $200 million last April, following a $7.6 billion funding round from Softbank. It started out as Social Bicycles in 2011 with conventional pedal bikes.