Thursday, 21 May 2020
After reports of it laying off all its employees at the end of last week, Uber Jump bikes are now disappearing from the streets of Brussels, according to reports and competitors.
The decision by Uber’s shared bicycle company comes amid the capital’s rising interest in alternative mobility. Indeed, with the coronavirus health crisis, many users are avoiding public transport. Plus, the Brussels Region recently opened 40 km of extra cycling paths.
Uber – which is already a Lime shareholder – recently raised $ 170 million in funding (with the help of Alphabet) for the e-scooter company with the intention of transferring its own e-mobility platform – Jump – to there, according to L’Echo.
While the direct impact of this deal – whether Jump will reappear under a different guise – remains unclear, the effects were evident with the announced layoff of the Brussels team, something which competitors were quick to comment on.
“You may have read the news this morning that Uber has decided to lay off the Jump team in Brussels, which most likely means the end of their shared bike business,” Belgium’s Billy Bike said in an email to subscribers advertising discounts for people making the switch.
For Lime, despite a turbulent lockdown period halting users completely, the future looks potentially bright for the sector in Brussels.
“The vision is shared by everyone in the sector, this is the moment for micro-mobility. This is a historic moment to position our service as an alternative to public transport for the next six months,” Benjamin Barnathan, Lime’s country manager for Benelux, told NewMobility.
Lime isn’t alone in seeing the growth. Last week, Billy announced that its numbers had tripled between March and April. Furthermore, adding some competition to the sector, Brussels’ Villo! is now offering six months of free subscription.
For the meantime, the fate of Uber bikes in Belgium remains unclear. They have been removed from the streets, Talk of being absorbed by Lime have been rumoured in the media, but the company remains quiet.
The Brussels Times