Uber launches electric scooter service in Santa Monica, California

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When it comes to consumer tech trends one of the biggest ones for 2018 has been the reemergence of electric scooters, with the like of Lyft and Lime leading the charge.

Now Uber is getting in on the action, having announced plans that it would be doing so back in June this year.

The ride sharing company is deploying a small fleet of electric scooters and bikes via JUMP this week in Santa Monica, California. The city’s council gave tech companies approval to operate electric scooter services in the area in August, with Uber taking a short time in order to get their option up and running.

While the electric scooters are branded as JUMP, they are in fact Xiaomi Mi scooters, according to TechCrunch. The move is designed to keep things consistent for customers.

“JUMP is a leader in this space. People have grown to know, love and appreciate the quality of the product that JUMP offers and we’re building on that brand equity — investing further, and that was one of the major drivers,” explained Uber Scooter product manager Rhea Dookeran to TechCrunch.

In terms of prices, Uber’s offering is quite similar to that of Lime and Lyft’s. It will cost $1 (~R14.35) to rent the scooter and 15 US cents (~R2.15) per minute it is operated. The service is, however, free until 7th October as an incentive to get people to use it.

Uber has not mentioned yet in which locations the JUMP electric scooters will be available in Santa Monica, but they have said that they plan to expand the operation to other cities across the United States.

Hopefully they’re also planning to have JUMP scooters launch in other parts of the globe too. With Uber doing well locally with its ride sharing service, the company may see some value in having electric scooters in SA as well.


[Image – TechCrunch]

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.