SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Citing popular demand, the Jump Bike sharing program is expanding to nearly double the service area in the Sacramento region, from 14 to 25 square miles, for a total coverage area of 46 square miles, including the city of Davis.
The Uber-run app released the following statement, Friday reading in part:
“Because of the demand and positive feedback, we’ve expanded our service area north to the American River, south to Fruitridge Rd, east to Power Inn Rd. and west to the Sacramento River. We’re also expanding our service area in West Sacramento, growing southward into Southport, with boundaries reaching from Davis Rd to Jefferson Blvd. The new expansion areas incorporate over 100 suggestions from the public WikiMap voting campaign. In total, we’re adding 5.5 square miles of low-income high minority areas (LIHM), which will increase our LIHM coverage by 50 percent in Sacramento.”
West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon is all for the Jump Bike expansion. He rides them nearly every day and says it was the number one request from residents to make the bike sharing program available in the suburbs like Southport and not just the city.
“And so we’re testing, can bike-share really work in a suburban area? And I’m pretty confident that West Sacramento will prove that it can,” he said.
The appeal of bike sharing is that it’s convenient and inexpensive. The Uber-run app lets you locate a bike on your smartphone then ride, lock and leave it just about anywhere. And at around $4 an hour, riders say it’s perfect for the short commute.
“These actually are really helpful because I work in midtown. I’ll take them downtown, uptown, It’s a lot of fun” said Jump Bike user, Telesia Manuleleua.
There are currently 900 of the electric-assisted Jump Bikes on the road between Sacramento, West Sacramento, and Davis, making it the largest bike share market in the county according to Mayor Cabaldon. With that much saturation, one might think it’s cutting into sales at local bike shops, but Ben Vogt, manager of the Trek Bike Shop in Midtown says the contrary is true.
“It’s going to help grow our business and it already has,” Vogt said.
Vogt says Jump Bikes could introduce an entirely a new customer base to cycling.
“People get to easily see what it’s like to enjoy a bike and how easy it is to get around the city on a bike. Also, just the visibility of people cycling in the town and community is good” he said.
Not all of the feedback surrounding the Jump Bike is positive. A business worker in downtown Sacramento who asked not to be identified said after dark he sees a lot of intoxicated people riding the jump bikes and says they don’t follow the rules of the road.
Mayor Cabaldon says if this latest expansion is successful, Uber will consider expanding even more in the near future.