JUMP’s bikeshare service became more popular than Uber in Sacramento

JUMP’s bikeshare service became more popular than Uber in Sacramento

Photo Credits: CAITLYN SAMPLEY / AGGIE

53 to 47 percent margin indicates bikeshare preferred over rideshare

A study done by Uber indicated that its bikeshare service JUMP has become more popular than its ridesharing counterpart in the Sacramento area. JUMP bikes are more popular than the ride-service by a 53 to 47 percent margin. Sacramento and the surrounding area are the only location out of 16 studied in which this is the case.

While the study was conducted in October of 2018, the numbers were released this February. Uber acquired the JUMP bikeshare service in April of 2018. Last May, the bikeshare service launched in Davis, with 60 bikes currently sprinkled throughout both the city and the UC campus. By the end of last summer, there were around 900 bikes in the Sacramento area. Despite the high number of bikes, not even Uber predicted that the bikeshare service would soon reach this level of popularity.

“We were honestly surprised,” said Alex Hagelin, head of Uber’s JUMP bike program in Sacramento to the The Sacramento Bee. “Uber has been around for years, and in just five months, our bikes were generating more trips. This is the first time we have seen this in any of our cities to date.”

According to Ramon Zavala, the transportation demand manager for UC Davis Transportation Services, there aren’t enough JUMP bikes at UC Davis or the city of Davis to keep up with the demand in Davis.

“We currently don’t have enough JUMP bikes in Davis [and] at UC Davis to meet all the demand and demand will certainly increase as more people feel like they can rely on finding a JUMP bike nearby when one is needed,” Zavala said via email.

Zavala also acknowledged, however, that since he’s not a student, his needs for a JUMP bike might not reflect everyone else’s needs.

“Demand is relative and hard to measure,” Zavala said. “When I take Unitrans in to campus instead of riding my bike, I rely on JUMP to get around campus. 50 percent of the time, I can find a JUMP bike near me or along my errand route that doesn’t require me to go out of my way. But my daily travel needs don’t reflect a student’s needs or every other employee’s needs.”

According to Zavala, there are a few reasons why one would use a JUMP bike over ordering an Uber. For trips of smaller distances or errands, a JUMP bike would be more efficient than an Uber.

“If you’re traveling less than 3 miles […] a JUMP bike just makes sense,” Zavala said. “One can easily go 3 miles in 15 minutes on a JUMP bike, use only a quarter of one’s daily allotted JUMP time, and not break a sweat (a benefit of the electric pedal assist system). Those three miles will cost you $7-$15 (depending on congestion) via a ride-hailing system.”

A JUMP bike costs $2 for the first 30 minutes and $0.07 for every 15 minutes thereafter. This cheaper price might be another reason why students would choose a JUMP bike rather than a rideshare service.

“If I miss the bus, and if I need to get to a place quickly on time, I think the JUMP bike is the best way to go, just because it’s cheaper than Uber,” said Yash Dani, a second-year computer science major at UC Davis. “If you need to go somewhere farther — like from my apartment to maybe downtown or somewhere that has some distance with no easy bus access — then JUMP bikes would be what I would use.”

Additionally, Dani said that the bike culture of Davis adds to the convenience of using JUMP bikes.

“Biking is definitely the fastest way around Davis, except the winter,” Dani said. “ [The bikes] work really well specifically for Davis since Davis is already known as a bike school. It’s well established for biking, there’s a lot of bike paths. You can get place to place through bike in a relatively safe manner.”

According to Zavala, the convenience of using a JUMP bike might make it easier for newcomers to the bike scene.

“Almost every bicyclist at UC Davis has purchased a new or used bike and most of those bicyclists had no clue what they were doing the first time.” Zavala said. “[…] You don’t have to worry about that with a JUMP bike. You sign up, pay your $30, adjust the seat height, wear a helmet, and ride. When you’re done, you lock it to a bike rack and walk away.”

Written by: Hannan Waliullah — city@theaggie.org