Partnering with local players . . .
Uber’s has pushed off with its partnership with India bike sharing company Yulu, launching a pilot phase in Bengaluru that provides users with three free rides on shareable bikes or e-bikes via the Uber app. Uber, the San Francisco-based company that just went public last week, said its partnership with Yulu is part of a “multimodal push towards electrification,” and an attempt to capture a hearty chunk of the growing micro-mobility business in Asia.
Congestion in Asia’s micro-mobility business . . .
With pollution levels in major Asian metropolitan areas rising, bike-sharing is an economic, eco-friendly alternative to automobiles. E-bikes also help commuters save time as they can reach speeds of up to 25km/h, 5km/h faster than the average traffic flow in major Asian cities. But increasing demand for micro-mobility in Asia means that there is fierce competition on the ground. After attracting billions in capital, three of China’s ‘unicorn’ bike share start-ups went bankrupt in 2018, leaving behind ‘bike graveyards’ along urban roadways. Will Uber be left dealing with similar stacks of aluminum and rubber in India?
Culture, regulation, climate limit growth in Canada . . .
Canada was an early adopter but has been a slow mover in bike sharing. Montreal-based BIXI was North America’s first large-scale bike sharing system and there are eight Canadian cities that have highly-regulated bike-sharing services. Some cities, like Vancouver, are moving forward with bike sharing in support of ‘going green’ initiatives. But growth has been slow: most Canadians view biking as a recreational activity rather than a means of transportation, and parking permits and cold Canadian winters have limited the expansion of bike sharing in many parts of Canada.
- Tech Crunch: Uber begins trialing e-bikes and bicycles rides in India
- Foreign Policy: The rise and fall of China’s cycling empires
- The Globe and Mail: Vancouver’s plan for greenhouse gas emissions would affect every resident