“This is about scaling up alternatives that reduce personal vehicle use in cities,” Andrew Salzberg, the head of transportation policy and research for Uber, said in an interview on Tuesday. “This is in alignment with what cities are trying to do.”
It is also about Uber aiming to be an “everything company” for transportation. With its rumored $100 million acquisition of Jump, Uber has leaped into the Wild West of dockless bikesharing, an industry that has exploded since the technology was introduced in China in 2014. Last year, a surge of venture capital brought the colorful, sensor-enabled bikes onto U.S. soil from both Chinese and American players; startups like Ofo, Mobike, Limebike, and Jump have been vying for dominance in dozens of American cities ever since.