- Uber announced it will offer users access to a shared network of mopeds in Paris as part of a partnership with Cityscoot. The mopeds will be offered as a mobility option on the Uber app along with JUMP bikes, scooters and shared rides.
- Cityscoot mopeds are all electric and come with a skirt to cover the rider’s legs, a pouch for phone storage, a helmet, hairnets and a reflective vest. The vehicles are capped at 45 km/hour, or just over 25 mph.
- It’s the first moped offering from Uber; the company said in a statement it will focus first on this partnership and "consider next steps as it progresses."
As Uber has expanded from a ride-sharing company to a full suite of micromobility options, mopeds fill a certain niche. According to a blog post, Uber envisions that users can ride scooters for "very short" trips of less than 2 km (1.2 miles) and bikes for trips around 3 km (1.8 miles), with mopeds being the best option for "mid-distance" trips of around 4 km (2.5 miles). Paris is also one of the cities where Uber has integrated public transit into its app.
It fits with Uber's recent trend of partnerships to offer more multimodal options; Uber signaled in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it sees its future in being an all-around mobility company, not one reliant on drivers.
An Uber spokesperson said that Paris was a "natural place to start with mopeds" because the city has become a hub for new mobility options. Mopeds are already widely in use in Paris and can navigate the city’s complicated streets. "Add to that a shared electric fleet which means fewer vehicles taking up parking space and more environmentally friendly, and you have a spot-on service," the spokesperson said.
Although it’s unclear if Uber will expand the offerings, other companies have tried to bring shared moped fleets to U.S. cities. Revel, for example, has put 1,000 vehicles in Brooklyn and Queens and recently expanded to Washington, DC. Spain-based Muving also launched its own moped vehicles in a pilot with Atlanta last year.
Operators have pitched mopeds as a bridge between smaller vehicles like scooters and bikes and cars, offering a new way to take medium-length trips without adding to urban congestion and pollution. Still, with safety concerns and the need for riders to get comfortable with the vehicles, mopeds may still face an uphill climb in some cities.