Uber moves beyond ride-hailing with car-sharing, more biking

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Uber is expanding into more modes of transportation in an effort to change how urbanites get around cities.

Since its founding in 2009, Uber has expanded rapidly.

So far, Uber's new "toys" are available in San Francisco and Washington DC, with around 250 bikes. "We called drivers "partners", but didn't always act like it", said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, in a blog post revealing the new app that was published on Tuesday, March 10.

While Jump bikes are not yet regulated, the electric-pedal company received exclusive permission from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority (SFMTA) to kickstart service in the city.

'We're particularly excited about JUMP Bikes because they can provide a convenient and environmentally friendly ride that's often faster, especially in dense cities where space is limited and roads can be congested, ' Khosrowshahi continued.

The ride-hailing service announced Wednesday that it's expanding its partnerships with several companies that deal with other types of transportation besides auto ownership.

Anyone with the Uber app in D.C. can now use it to rent a JUMP bike, the electric bikes that Uber now owns. In the past two years, Uber has exited China, Russia, and parts of East and South Asia.

And Uber is now testing rental cars through peer-to-peer car-sharing service Getaround in San Francisco.

Uber partner organisations include the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), MP Shah Hospital, emergency services company Flare, auto dealer Toyotsu, Huawei, Techno, Essilor, Kingsway, and Telkom Kenya. Especially with exclusion zones for ICE cars starting to spread around many European capitals and major cities, it doesn't take a marketing PhD to spot lucrative opportunities. "Now you can take a bike to rent your vehicle and go buy groceries". The new business direction has been integrated so quickly that e-bike sharing is already present in the Uber App in the areas where it's available. You'll be able to get an Uber. It is also partnering with Masabi, a public transit ticketing company, so that commuters can book rides on buses and trains using the Uber app. However, as Uber looks to expands its transportation options it may lure some riders back to mass-transit.

But it's an important means of showing good will. Khosrowshahi is trying to tell cities that the Uber of today is a "true partner" - and not the combative, "ask for forgiveness, not permission" startup of the past.