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Uber to launch bike-sharing program in Europe

By
Brooke Baitinger
Uber will launch bike-sharing in European cities by the end of the summer, the company's CEO announced at a Berlin conference Wednesday. UPI/Shutterstock
Uber will launch bike-sharing in European cities by the end of the summer, the company's CEO announced at a Berlin conference Wednesday. UPI/Shutterstock

June 6 (UPI) -- Uber will bring its bike-sharing program to Europe, company CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced at a conference Wednesday in Berlin.

It's been two months since the company bought the bike-share startup Jump, and the bright red bikes have already been introduced in a few U.S. cities. Now they'll expand to Berlin by the end of the summer, with more European cities to come.

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Dockless bike-sharing startups, such as Ofo, Mobike and LimeBike, have already flooded European cities. Riders can hire an electronic bike at the tap of a finger using an app.

But the competition hasn't deterred Uber from trying to establish its own presence, despite problematic aspects of bike-sharing companies like worsening congestion, possible damage to workers' rights and even the abandonment of bikes along the street. Uber is also dealing with its own controversy in London, where the city's transport regulator withdrew its license to operate.

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Khosrowshahi said at the conference he is determined to have better dialogue with cities and stakeholders in Germany. Uber is ready to help address some of German cities' biggest challenges: reducing air pollution, congestion and increasing access to cleaner transportation solutions, he said.

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"We're particularly eager about bikes because they can provide a convenient, environmentally friendly ride even in dense cities where space is limited and roads can be congested," he said.

He also said Uber will launch its all-electric Uber Green vehicle service in Berlin by the end of the year.

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The Jump bikes use electrical assistance, so renters still need to pedal. A full charge can give riders 30 to 40 miles of power.

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