Uber goes two wheeled

We're in the midst of a transport evolution as cities around the globe support population growth and the varying travel needs of residents and visitors alike. Startup-ups, established businesses and governments are ushering this shift as they look to implement new ideas and technology to bring a better overall experience to local transport.

Back in 2018, we wrote about the 'last mile' phenomenon taking over the USA at that time. The likes of Bird and Lime launched scooters on the streets and saw extensive popularity (and at times, polarity). Residents and tourists enjoyed the freedom of power assisted short range transport.

The City of Melbourne (our home city) earlier this year kicked off a pilot program with JUMP to run an electric bike share program.

This isn't the first time Melbourne has embarked on a bike share program, and previous attempts have been far from successful. There's an inherent need for cities to offer bike share as it not only supports transit (helping people move from the station 'hubs' to their destination) but offers a great alternative to getting in the car therefore reducing emissions and congestion.

JUMP bike, initially anyway, looks like a much more attractive proposition that previous attempts.

  • You can drop off a JUMP anywhere within the city's confines. No need to find a specific bike station.
  • The program is supported by Good Cycles who are tasked with monitoring the bikes, recharging, servicing and redistribution.
  • The price is approachable considering it's an e-bike. $1 to unlock and $0.30 a minute.
  • Overall it's a better product and overall customer experience than the similar previous endeavours this city has seen.

Brand is customer experience

In terms of the product and overall experience, one thing that took me was both the approach to brand and how that's been leveraged and extended within the primary customer touchpoint, the app.

Find and download

A JUMP bike stands out - it's a vibrant red/orange with 'JUMP' blazoned across the frame. At a glance you'd think you'd head into the App Store and download the JUMP app. Not so. JUMP is a subsidiary of Uber, following an acquisition in 2018. Access to the program is via the Uber app.

A search in the App Store for 'jump' or 'jump bikes' (which we can see is a popular search term given the search suggestions) only sources competitors.

Users need to be educated about the Uber/JUMP relationship prior to signing up. The bikes do subtly detail instructions and helmets are branded Uber but no denying users are searching the App Store specifically for JUMP.

After you figure out where to get the app, the rest of the experience is simple, and in a way delightful.

Onboarding and education

Open up the Uber app and it's pretty clear on where to go to rent a bike. A recent update to the app introduced a tab bar with three clear options - Ride, Rent, Eat.. After a microsecond I conclude that 'Rent' is the option needed and off I go!

Uber really plays on the strong JUMP branding here - especially the iconic red/orange colour. The pins detailing bike locations pop off the screen.

First time you rent a bike an expected on-boarding sequence appears providing an overview of how the system works, road rules, and due to COVID-19 a special announcement regarding staying safe (at time of writing the pandemic was in its early days in Australia. Now at time of publish JUMP is currently suspended until further notice).

Again, there is lots of nice branding here and the JUMP primary colour really shines alongside the muted tones of the app.

Finding, booking and reserving

There are a few ways to ride a JUMP. You can find a bike via the app and book. You can also reserve one for an upcoming ride. The option I chose was to walk up to a bike, fire up the scanner and wave my phone over the QR code.

More nice branding at play via iconography and colour. It's simple but a nice touch to provide a red wash over the camera as you scan the bike's QR Code.

Once you confirm costs and payment the helmet is unlocked and you're off.

Finishing up

When your ride is over you simply end the ride. JUMP provide a window for you to hold the bike (which keeps the meter running) or you can finish up straight away.

When you're done you can rate the overall experience. If you're happy a bubbly smiley face fills the screen. A nice little touch to finish the experience!

In summary, JUMP has created a near seamless brand experience here from bike through app. Although a dedicated JUMP app would've helped further, there is no denying the ubiquity of the Uber app on people's phones

JUMP, Uber, Good Cycles and City of Melbourne have put together a compelling package for Melbourne residents and visitors alike. It's a great product, integrated well into the Uber app and the ongoing support is sympathetic to the community and understands the issues of previous schemes. Well worth giving it a try! 😀

* Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Melbourne has temporarily suspended the JUMP bike share program *

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