- Full deployment of a shared e-bike system in New York City could switch as many as a million trips per day from cars, transit or walking to e-bikes, according to a report prepared for Jump, the mobility startup owned by Uber.
- The report from consulting firm Steer Group projected the impact of a system that deployed between 100,000 and 200,000 shared bikes in New York City and, using data from the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council, identified existing trips that could be taken by e-bikes (such as those less than 15 km and those without luggage). Steer estimated 901,000 end-to-end trips would switch to e-bike, based on acceptance rates elsewhere and survey results. Another 97,000 rides could come from users going to or from public transit.
- About half of the new e-bike trips would be replacing transit rides, with more than 30% replacing vehicle trips. Even with the modeled acceptance, biking would still only account for 3.8% of all of the city’s trips.
New York City has been slow compared to its peers in allowing dockless bikes on the road, only this summer launching a pilot program that initially allowed five companies to test a limited number of vehicles. Jump has about 400 bikes in limited neighborhoods as part of the program, but has made clear it wants to expand to all five boroughs. In an interview with Crain’s Business New York, Jump founder Ryan Rzepecki said he wants his company to help customers left stranded by the temporary shutdown of the L train between Brooklyn and Manhattan, calling it a "a very significant disruption that needs very large-scale solutions."
The kind of network envisioned in the report would dwarf CitiBike, the docked bike-share network currently running in New York that has 12,000 bikes that are not pedal assist (CitiBike is run by Motivate, which in turn is owned by Uber competitor Lyft). New York has avoided competition with CitiBike in the dockless pilot, requiring that companies avoid "duplicating or undermining current bike share service."
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has made clear the company’s ambitions run through Jump and other mobility services. In an interview with Financial Times, Khosrowshahi said Uber was trying to diversify into the “$6 trillion mobility market” with shared bikes, scooters and access to public transit. "The ultimate competition here is car ownership, and boy is that a big market to go after," he said.
The report underscores what a disruption a new mobility option could be in a major city lacking dockless bikes. The report also tested the viability of a large-scale Jump network in London, and found that putting 81,000 to 163,000 shared e-bikes on the streets could convert 813,000 daily trips.