Uber and Lime have announced that they will temporarily pull their electric sharing bikes and scooters from the streets in light of the new coronavirus (Covid-19).
Uber, the American ride-hailing company, said that its ‘Jump’ electrical sharing bikes will temporarily not be available in Brussels in an email to all its users in the city, reports RTBF.
Uber said that “due to exceptional circumstances”, it decided to “pause Jump in Brussels” until further notice. Uber refers to the Belgian government’s request to stay at home as much as possible to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.
Lime, the company that places sharing scooters on the streets of cities worldwide, also announced it will “begin winding down and pausing our service to reflect public health guidance,” the company said in a statement.
The company recognises that the offer of easy electric scooters does nothing to encourage the official policy of calling on people to stay indoors as much as possible. “The Covid-19 virus is an unprecedented challenge facing cities and communities around the world,” the company said.
Lime is pulling back its scooters in the whole of the EU and EEA, as well as Brazil, Chile, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States.
“As a reminder, we’d also like to ask the Lime community to do their part in helping to stop the spread of Covid-19,” the company said. “It’s up to each of us to take the necessary steps, as advised by your local public health officials,” it added.
However, Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst said that the chances of sharing bicycles or scooters spreading the virus all over the city are not very high. “It is not the main route along which the virus will spread,” he told Bruzz.
Maïthé Chini and Alan Hope
The Brussels Times