The electric bike stock company briefly disappeared while Lime acquired the company from Uber.
A few weeks after Jump Bikes no longer show up in the Uber app, the company, now owned by Lime, will be redeploying the vehicles in Denver on Friday.
The popular shared electric bicycles are launched every day in the Denver food deserts, areas with few grocery stores that often serve as proxy for low-income neighborhoods, said Nico Probst, Limes director of government relations.
“We’ve had some conversations with community partners, including the Denver Streets Partnership, where these bikes can be most helpful,” Probst said. “And it has made us think of many communities in the city struggling with food deserts because these are places where people are probably most in need of transportation right now, given that RTD has limited operational capabilities.”
Denverites can rent the bikes for $ 1 per half hour. The company hopes the move will lead to passengers as people turn away from traditional public transport for fear of catching COVID-19. Riders can still find the bikes in the Uber app and eventually see them in the Lime app as well.
The open air experience can feel liberating and less risky than taking a bus or a ride, Probst said. But strangers still share bicycles and the handlebars can spread germs. Lime workers will handle the bikes more often than before – with gloves and masks – with an emphasis on disinfecting, not just maintaining the bikes.
“When these touches occur, our operations staff actually wipe them with Center for Disease Control-approved chemicals and follow proper cleaning protocols based on CDC guidelines,” Probst said. “Our team has also been given the right (personal protective equipment) to do its part to keep the spread from progressing.”
COVID-19 “doesn’t spread easily” on surfaces, according to the CDC. Person-to-person contact is more likely to spread respiratory disease.
Lime, whose business has “declined sharply” since the pandemic began, according to tech site The Information, acquired Jump through a fundraising round led by Uber. According to Probst, Denver is the first city in the world to put the bikes back into storage after the break, and that the bikes may not return to every city they were once housed in.
When B-Cycle left Denver, Jump became the only bike-share game in town with a fleet of 200.