(Photo courtesy of Uber)

Uber has officially joined the scooter fray with the launch of their bright orange devices under the JUMP brand.

JUMP, owned by Uber, is one of four companies chosen to operate dockless bikes or scooters in Santa Monica with Lime, Bird and Lyft. The JUMP brand scooters were the only device that didn’t hit the streets last month and with the October release of the scooters, the city has now reached capacity for bikes/scooters.

Santa Monica’s shared mobility pilot program approved a citywide total of 2,000 electric scooters and 1,000 electric bikes. Bird was given a quota of 750 scooters as was Lime. Lyft and JUMP were each issued permits for 250 scooters and 500 electric bikes. Companies can petition for an increase in their quota if they can prove to the city their devices are heavily used.

JUMP’s official scooter launch is October 3 and Santa Monica is the first city to receive the scooters.

Aside from being colored a blazing sunset orange, JUMP scooters operate much the same as their competitors — download the app, reserve a scooter, scan the QR code on the handlebar and scoot away.

Unique to JUMP is a free, five minute grace period. The company says this gives customers time to get to their scooters without being charged. Additionally, if a customer walks to your chosen scooter and sees a closer scooter that is available, customers can choose that scooter without having to cancel and get charged for the reservation.

Uber’s app will also show scooter parking zones within the app’s map, a method Uber hopes will clear a citywide problem of scooters being left in the public right of way.

While the City’s selection of Bird and Lime caused some controversy, JUMP was a favorite throughout the process for the pilot program.

“The selection committee reviewed the application submittals and scored each based on the seven categories prescribed by SMMC Section 3.21.060. These include experience, operations, ability to launch, education strategies, compliance record, financial viability and safety compliance,” said David Martin, Director of Planning and Community Development in his official selection of the companies.

“Based on these categories, the committee recommended the selection of the top two ranked operators in each category, which are JUMP and Lyft in the bike category and JUMP and Lyft in the scooter category. Because JUMP and Lyft submitted applications in both categories, and in part because their applications for ebike and e-scooters were nearly identical, JUMP and Lyft were the highest ranked in both categories.”

With JUMP providing non-car transport options, Uber now dominates many modes of travel within the city, which the company says is by design. In a press release, the company said they’re aiming to “work towards having your phone replace your car”, with the goal of “ultimately creating less congestion, less stress, and less pollution” in cities.

JUMP will offer free rides on its e-bikes and scooters until Sunday, October 7 to celebrate the launch. Customers will be limited to 30 minutes each ride and five rides per day.


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