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Lime relaunches Jump e-bikes in Europe, starting in London

Image credit: Cody Engel/Unsplash

Lime – which runs a range of vehicle hire and sharing schemes around the world – is to relaunch the Jump bike hire scheme in Europe, beginning with a limited number in London.

Jump e-bikes, which are distributed throughout cities for anyone to hire via an app, are instantly recognisable for their bright coral colour. Jump was acquired by Uber for $200m in April 2018 and oversaw its expansion into Europe in the following months. In May this year, Lime acquired Jump as part of a major investment deal with Uber.

Lime acquired tens of thousands of the most recent Jump e-bikes, as well as the associated IP and some Jump employees. As the deal was agreed, tens of thousands of Jump bikes were controversially scrapped by Uber and e-bikes were taken off streets across Europe, including Berlin, London, Brussels, Madrid, Rome, Barcelona, Malaga, Munich, Paris, and Rotterdam.

There are concerns that Lime will not redeploy Jump e-bikes in all the European cities from which it has withdrawn, with reports indicating that initially only London, Paris, Rome and Barcelona will see the return of the brightly coloured hire vehicles.

The e-bikes are now returning to Europe, beginning with a fleet of 100 being deployed in Camden and Islington in North London. The fleet will grow based on demand. It will cost £1 to unlock a bike and 15p per minute of the ride. For now, the Jump bikes will only be available via the Uber app, although they will be added to the Lime app at a later date following “further systems integration”.

According to Lime, the coronavirus pandemic has encouraged record usage of rented e-bikes as commuters seek to avoid crowded public transport. The company said that users are taking more frequent and longer journeys than ever before.

The impact of coronavirus on transportation preferences has also encouraged the UK government to bring forward a trial of rental e-scooters, which will be made legal to ride on the road by adults with a suitable license (such as a driving license) from this weekend.

Lime is among the companies which will be working with local authorities on the trial and will be partnering with Allianz to provide insurance coverage at no extra cost to its UK riders: “This policy means that riders can step onto a Lime e-scooter and ride worry-free knowing they are protected,” the company said.

Meanwhile, the UK government’s planned £25m 'Fix Your Bike' scheme has been delayed once again, following an aborted June launch. The scheme aims to provide hundreds of thousands of £50 vouchers to cover the cost of repairing bikes and “drag [them] out of retirement”.  The Department for Transport has said that the scheme will be launched when bike repair shops can handle the anticipated spike in demand.

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