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Bike share returns to Seattle as Uber hands off to Lime in the city

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Seattle’s spring without bike share will end with a start of summer relaunch of the Jump system.

Lime, which is taking over the Uber-created fleet of red electric bikes after the transportation app giant’s $170 million investment in the bike and scooter share company, announced the relaunch. Starting Monday, Jump rentals will only be available in the Uber app with plans to integrate the service into the Lime app “at a later date as a result of ongoing systems integration.”

In May as the bikes left the streets of Seattle, CHS reported on the failure of multiple systems and providers in the city despite customer enthusiasm and sometimes heavy usage.

Seattle is reportedly the second city in Lime’s global markets where the bike service is being relaunched.

“We are proud to bring the red JUMP bikes that Seattleites know and love back to our city streets,” Jonathan Hopkins, Lime Government Affairs for Pacific Northwest & Canada: said in a statement to media. “Bikeshare is going to be critical to mobility in our city as COVID has reduced the capacity of our transit system. Over the coming weeks, we will continue to work with the City of Seattle to ensure bikeshare is a critical part of our recovery and key part of our City’s efforts to create safer streets and reduce emissions.”

The company also addressed COVID-19 safety concerns in its announcement:

A NOTE ON PUBLIC HEALTH PROTECTIONS FOR RIDERS

As part of this relaunch, we’re taking a range of steps to keep our communities safe:

  • While the most recent guidance from the CDC is that “the primary mode of transmission for COVID-19 is through close contact from person-to-person,” and that surface transmission is “not thought to be the main way the virus spreads,” enhanced our cleaning methods and increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting our scooters. We are cleaning all parts of the scooter that are touched by people and we are only using products recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the Center for Biocide Chemistries list that have been approved by the EPA for use against the coronavirus.

  • In our offices and warehouses, we are distributing hand sanitizer, masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPE). All of our mechanics and operators in the field are required to wear gloves and wash their hands regularly.

  • We’re following the CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO), federal agencies, and other global health organizations to collect the most up-to-the-minute information to ensure the actions we’re taking are comprehensive and expedient. Based on this information, we will decide to continue, pause, or suspend operations in certain markets.

In addition, Lime will provide in-app reminders of our “THRIVE” health and safety best practices, including:

  • Take precautions — inspect the bike to make sure the wheels, brakes, throttle, lights, and frame are all in good working condition.

  • Hands — wash your hands or use hand sanitizer which is at least 60% alcohol-based when you arrive at your final destination.  Wear gloves when you can.

  • Ride Solo for safety and social distancing; maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others.

  • Identify bike lanes and be aware of traffic lights and signs.

  • Vigilance – remain alert of your surroundings and potential road and safety hazards.

  • Enjoy Responsibly – be respectful of other road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and fellow scooter riders, and always wear a helmet.

Lime, meanwhile, has also been pushing its electric scooter programs though Seattle has yet to allow the services to operate here.

Lime says the Jump fleet size will start at around 500 e-bikes “and grow based upon demand.” Pricing is $1 to unlock and 36 cents per minute. The 20-minute ride from City Hall to Cal Anderson, then, will cost you about $8.20. For a dollar or so more, you could take an Uber.

UPDATE: More good news for getting around — with your mask on — in Seattle. Metro is expanding its service starting today on many routes cut back during the COVID-19 restrictions:


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