Major competitive expansion for JUMP bikeshare in Seattle

(Courtesy of JUMP Bikes)

SEATTLE — JUMP service is now citywide in Seattle. It is among a handful of changes to the bikeshare that will set the stage for high competition between Seattle’s two bikesharing companies.

“Since initially launching in Seattle, our priority has been to make JUMP bikes available to as many people as possible as quickly as possible, while efficiently and sustainably operating our network of bikes,” said Alejandro Chouza, general manager at Uber, JUMP’s parent company. “I’m thrilled we’re able to expand our service area to the entire city earlier than expected. We decided to do this because of how well our bikes have been received by riders.”

Previously, JUMP’s bikes were limited to the core of Seattle, rarely traveling beyond 65th Avenue North. Now, service has expanded to include Northgate, Lake City, Greenwood, Magnolia, Madrona, and the rest of Seattle.

But with the expansion comes a few changes. First, JUMP will begin charging $25 each time a customer parks and locks the bike outside the service area. Customers will be warned of the fee. So no more riding to Shoreline and leaving the bike. No customers have been charged the fee thus far.

The biggest change to JUMP’s operation is the elimination of the $1 unlocking fee. Lime also charges $1 to unlock its bikes, then a per-minute fee. JUMP will nix the unlocking fee and charge 15 cents per minute. With the service area matching Lime’s, the lower costs could give JUMP an edge over its competition.

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​Meanwhile, Lime has evolved beyond its bikes and now offers a carshare — LimePod. The service has been open to customers since mid-February and echoes its bikeshare system. Customers are charged $1 to unlock the vehicles — Fiat 500s — and then a per minute fee while they drive around the city.

JUMP also launched its Boost plan for Seattle, offering low-income residents use of its bikes for $5 a month.

No word yet on what Lyft plans to do in Seattle with its bikeshare. Lyft has been approved for a bikeshare permit, but has yet to launch a system.

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