- Uber-owned Jump has launched a fleet of e-bikes in Seattle. The company's permit application proposal indicated it initially would release 500 bikes at the program start and work up to 5,000 bikes by March next year.
- After the Seattle City Council passed dockless vehicle regulations in July, Spin and ofo chose not to apply for permits. Jump will join Lime, the only other remaining dockless bike-share operator in the city. Lyft has applied for a permit but thus far does not have bikes on the street.
- On the same day of the Seattle launch, Jump also announced it launched an e-bike fleet in San Diego.
Seattle has had a rough time getting a bike-share program to stick. The city canceled its entire traditional bike-share program in January 2017 amid comments that it was a failure. Seattle's leaders say they've learned from that experience and incorporated their knowledge into this summer's dockless legislation. The regulations prompted other operators to leave the market.
The city does have some unique challenges, one of which is a hilly terrain. Dedicated cyclists make the commitment to get their heart racing when going up those hills, but often people with that level of commitment already own their own bikes. Getting casual cyclists — such as many of those who use bike-share programs — to bike around a hilly city isn't always easy. Jump's electric, pedal-assist bikes are perfect for that type of landscape, as are the e-bikes Lime launched in Seattle early this year.
Jump's bikes also were designed from the start with built-in locking devices. That's a feature that some cities now are requesting of operators in order to receive a permit, to prevent riders from leaving the devices in inappropriate areas or the bikes tipping and cluttering public spaces.