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Uber CEO calls for e-bike-friendly cities, plans PeopleForBikes donation

Published September 27, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO (BRAIN) — Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO of ride-share company Uber, says e-bikes are often the best way to get around a city, especially during rush hours. Uber, which bought the dockless e-bike share company Jump this year for a reported $200 million, has announced the installation of e-bike charging stations in Sacramento, California, and said an Uber-supported "sustainable mobility fund" will be making a donation to PeopleForBikes to help create bike-friendly infrastructure and policies nationally. He did not say how much the group is donating to the organization.

"Our acquisition of Jump was a direct investment in the idea that the best way to get around a city is sometimes not in a car at all," Khosrowshahi wrote in a blog post this week. "We're proud to say the early results from having Jump integrated into the Uber app are positive. Based on data in San Francisco, we found that on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. (when congestion is at its worst), trips by Jump riders on the overall Uber platform climbed 15 percent, even as their rideshare trips declined 10 percent."

"There's still a lot of work to be done to transform many of the cities where we operate into safe and appealing places for bikes, with the necessary infrastructure and policies," he wrote, explaining the PeopleForBikes donation. 

He said Uber has committed $10 million over the next three years to the new Fund for Sustainable Mobility campaign. He said the fund would use the The Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities in determining how to allocate this fund. The principles were developed at the 2017 Ecomobility World Festival in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, where international NGO's, as well as service providers including Uber, gathered to discuss sustainable transportation. 

Besides the e-bike advocacy, the fund is supporting congestion pricing to try to discourage urban traffic at rush hours.

"We've already been advocating for this in New York. For years, we've been calling on the state legislature to pass a comprehensive congestion pricing plan where everyone pays their fair share to use crowded streets — trucks, personal vehicles, taxis and, yes, technology platforms like Uber. The funding generated would directly support mass transit, a critical goal of our overall campaign. We recently committed an additional $1 million to fight for its passage next year. With the campaign, we're committed to bringing similar support for sustainable transportation policy to cities around the world," he said.

He said the fund also is donating $250,000 to SharedStreets, a nonprofit creating the standard for how organizations can share data about public street use. In addition to the donation, he said Uber has agreed to share road speed data from its own drivers with the organization.

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