There’s another ebike operator back on the streets in D.C. this week.
On Monday morning, San Francisco-based transportation company Lime relaunched with nearly 150 Jump ebikes. Lime acquired the micromobility subsidiary company from Uber in May after closing a $170 million investment round. The acquisition deal closed in June, and Lime now runs Jump’s ebike and escooter operations.
To start, users can access Jump ebikes in the Uber app; they will be available in the Lime app sometime in the future. D.C. is the third U.S. market to have Jump ebikes back in service since the acquisition deal closed.
Lime hosted a socially distant relaunch event on Monday at Freedom Plaza to celebrate Jump’s return in the District. Robert Gardner, director of government relations at Lime, told Technical.ly that Lime is relaunching with the small fleet to gauge ridershare for the ebikes.
“With city residents hesitant to get back on public transit or in rideshare vehicles, they are turning to bikes and scooters to travel in the open-air while remaining socially distant,” he said. “If demand is strong, we’ll begin to scale up and add more.”
Gardner said that the company is taking extra precaution to fight COVID-19 by enhancing cleaning protocols, staff trainings and frequent messages with tips for riders to stay as safe as possible.
Jump ebikes first launched in D.C. in the fall of 2017 as part of the District Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) dockless bikeshare pilot. That pilot has expanded over the years to the dockless vehicle sharing program, which also included escooters and mopeds now. Back in December, we reported that Lime was one of four dockless escooter operators set to get the boot in 2020 as DDOT didn’t plan to renew their permits. The department has since extended dockless escooter permits from 2019 through this year.
On the other hand, Jump was granted a permit from DDOT to operate escooters and ebikes in the District this year. With Lime’s acquisition of the company, Lime holds multiple permits to operate in the area, including escooter operations throughout D.C., Arlington, Virginia and Alexandria, Virginia.
“We’re excited to get Jump bikes back on the streets of D.C. as we know dedicated riders have missed them over the past couple months,” Gardner said. “We’re glad to work with DDOT on providing more options to riders and keeping streets free from carbon-emitting cars.”
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