Uber to shift focus from cars to bikes
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told in an interview to the Financial Times that the company is going to focus on electric bikes and scooters over cars. Khosrowshahi said that individual modes of transport better suit short trips within cities.
“During rush hour, it is very inefficient for a one-tonne hulk of metal to take one person 10 blocks,” Uber CEO told the Financial Times. “We’re able to shape behaviour in a way that’s a win for the user. It’s a win for the city.”
Khosrowshahi said that such a shift will mean losses for the company in the short term. This could delay profitability for Uber that lost $4.5 billion in 2017. Uber CEO earlier said that the company would go public in 2019.
“Short-term financially, maybe it’s not a win for us, but strategically long term we think that is exactly where we want to head,” Khosrowshahi said.
When asked about the impact on drivers, Dara Khosrowshahi admitted that they could feel losses at first, but will eventually benefit from longer higher-paid trips.
“When I’ve spoken to our driver partners about it, the first impression was, why are you bringing in a bike to compete against me?” Khosrowshahi told the Financial Times. “The second impression after the conversation is, oh, I get a longer ride where I can make more money? Sign me up.”
In April 2018, Uber acquired e-bike startup Jump and added e-bikes to the Uber app. Jump bikes are already available in 8 U.S. cities, including Washington and New York City, and will soon expand to Europe with the launch in Berlin.
Photo credit: Jump