**Uber Faces Backlash for Discarding JUMP E-Bikes and E-Scooters**
Uber is currently under fire from bike advocates and various others for its decision to dispose of thousands of JUMP e-bikes and e-scooters following the transfer of its bike and scooter business to Lime earlier this month.
Photos and videos of JUMP e-bikes being destroyed at a scrap yard in North Carolina began circulating on Twitter on May 22 and May 26. These images, shared by Twitter user Cris Moffitt, quickly went viral and triggered widespread criticism of Uber for this seemingly wasteful action. This backlash is particularly fueled by the fact that the country is currently grappling with a severe bike shortage due to the increased number of people choosing biking as a means of transportation during the coronavirus pandemic.
A recent tweet by Cris Moffitt called attention to the issue, urging JUMP by Uber to explain why these bikes are being discarded. Moffitt proposed collaborating on a non-profit initiative to repaint and repurpose the bikes, allowing children to use them for their first jobs. The tweet also mentioned Casey, a user who may be interested in offering assistance.
In addition, Moffitt estimated that there were approximately 30 semi-truck loads’ worth of e-bikes at the scrap yard.
Meanwhile, information shared by JUMP employees, as mentioned in a blog post from the Bike Share Museum, suggests that around 20,000 e-bikes have been scrapped. Uber has confirmed that it is disposing of “thousands” of e-bikes, but has not provided an exact figure. This confirmation came in response to an inquiry made by NBC News.
While Lime now operates JUMP, it appears that the responsibility for the massive bike disposal lies with Uber. Lime, on the other hand, has received “tens of thousands” of the former JUMP e-bikes and has already reintroduced some of them for public use in Denver.
It is clear that Uber’s actions have sparked outrage and concern among the public, especially during a time when sustainable transportation options are of utmost importance.
“Lime Commits to Sustainable Operation of JUMP E-Bikes Amidst Critical Times”
“We are dedicated to scaling and managing our fleet of JUMP e-bikes, and we have not yet recycled any of them. Moving forward, our intention is to collaborate with Uber to identify environmentally friendly methods of donation and reutilization for any remaining e-bikes in their inventory,” stated a spokesperson from Lime, as reported by Bicycle Retailer.
Yet, this explanation fails to address the reason behind the decision to send so many bikes to the scrap yard. Many individuals believe that rather than recycling them, the e-bikes should have been donated to those who are in dire need.
The Bike Share Museum suggested that simply removing the batteries would enable safe donation of the e-bikes. However, very few would be willing to ride a 75-pound e-bike without a battery.
It is possible that Uber conducted thorough research and explored the best methods of refurbishing the e-bikes for donation or for Lime’s usage. Nevertheless, the disheartening sight of thousands of bikes being transformed into scrap metal raises significant concerns about the potential wastefulness associated with bike-sharing programs, considering the turnover of operating companies and the regular obsolescence of older bike models.
Service and News Editor
Multitasking Outdoor Enthusiast
In the realm of exhilarating adventures, Jessica gracefully tackles treacherous mountain terrains, embracing the pulse of nature on her trusty mountain bike. Her passion for exploring the great outdoors is only matched by her impeccable command over language as an esteemed editor for the renowned Popular Mechanics. Prior to this, she honed her editorial prowess as a distinguished member of the editorial team at Bicycling magazine.