Celebrating One Year in San Francisco
Author: Ryan Rzepecki CEO, JUMP Bikes
This January we marked one year since we launched our dockless electric bikeshare in San Francisco — and we wanted to take a minute to reflect on the milestone and share some thoughts on our vision for the year ahead.
The past twelve months have seen a rapid transformation at JUMP and across the micromobility industry as a whole: certain players exited, via consolidation or otherwise, and many new players entered the space. JUMP launched in many new cities and released new hardware with our scooters and an updated bike design. And in San Francisco, we saw our dockless electric bikeshare system — which is the first and only of its kind in the Bay Area — start to play a key role in driving changes in transportation habits, improving reliability and affordability, expanding access to transit, and offering flexibility and convenience to riders.
And this progress has played out in our own internal numbers. In fact, we’re announcing for the first time today that over 63,000 JUMP SF riders took over 625,000 trips for a total of more than 1.6 million miles traveled since we launched last year. And this was with only 250 bikes for the first ~9 months of deployment.
Filling a void left by docked systems
How did we get here? We started seeing an impact on transit habits almost immediately after we launched in January 2018, with a consistent average trip distance of 2.6 miles — 30 percent farther than the trip length of about two miles reported by other docked bikeshare systems. And that’s just the average. Many commute trips are even longer — with 11 percent of peak commute* trips exceeding four miles, and more than 5,000 trips exceeding 15 miles in length. This shows that JUMP, in addition to providing first/last mile connectivity, is also providing connectivity for every mile in between.
Not only were JUMP trips farther, but bikes had a higher utilization rate when compared to docked bikeshare systems. In fact, each JUMP e-bike in SF saw an average of seven rides per day, with more than 40% of days exceeding eight rides per bike, compared to the industry average of 1–2 rides per bike per day for docked systems.
There are a number of factors that explain the early success of our system in San Francisco. The dynamic nature of a dockless system means that we can monitor trends in demand, and adjust our fleet in real time to ensure inventory is available in the places where it’s needed most. Our bikes are also electrified, which results in an inherently easier riding experience, particularly up San Francisco’s steep hills. We also pioneered new technology like a pay-as-you-go pricing model and wireless reservations, which reduce the friction of finding and riding a bike. And, finally, our integration with Uber also broadened access to new users who didn’t have to download the JUMP app.
Integrating with Uber
In April 2018 we announced that we were going to be acquired by Uber, and by July, we saw the impact that this integration was having on ridership across the city. Data showed JUMP rides beginning to replace Uber trips, with car trips decreasing by 10 percent while overall trip frequency of JUMP + Uber increased by 15% after riders’ first JUMP ride. This entire increase can be attributed to the use of e-bikes.
Since that study was released in July, those trends have remained consistent. As overall engagement (Uber + JUMP) increased, Uber car trips decreased and Uber trips during peak period decreased even more for Uber users who started using JUMP on the Uber app.
Expanding the system
The positive numbers we started seeing showed through during the Pilot Mid-Point Evaluation conducted by the SFMTA in October 2018. Of note, in addition to the high utilization rate for e-bikes, they also found that JUMP’s dockless system complemented the existing docked system, as it was used for different lengths, origins, and destinations, overall.
A large part of that difference was seen in JUMP’s unique ability to support transportation needs of communities of concern (CoCs). The SFMTA’s analysis in the Mid-Point Evaluation found that 55% of JUMP trips started or ended in a CoC, including CoCs not covered by the docked system in San Francisco; and that riders on our income-eligible Boost plan were riding about 2.5 times more frequently than other members. As part of our permit, we committed to keeping 20% of our fleet in CoCs across San Francisco every day between 6am-10pm — and we have exceeded that commitment by keeping an average of nearly 32.5% of our bikes in a CoCs since launch.
One of the biggest reasons for our success here is that dockless systems are inherently easier to expand and modify than docked systems. Once a new area has been identified as a strong fit for a dockless expansion, residents don’t need to wait months for access to new affordable and efficient transportation options — we can simply extend our service area without significant capital investment like building docking stations.
JUMP is also dedicated to ongoing engagement with local communities throughout the city. In 2018 alone, we held 157 meetings with stakeholders and organizations, attended 121 community events, and hosted 12 events and rides. As part of that outreach, we’ve partnered with multiple community organizations — including promoting our local Boost Plan with the San Francisco YMCA Urban Services, and education and safety programming with San Francisco Bike Coalition.
These efforts paid off. An unaffiliated group of bike advocates (ourbikes.org) launched a petition with almost 1,000 signatures in support of increasing the JUMP bike cap in August. The SFMTA listened, and cited that petition — along with several other factors — when they allowed us to increase our fleet size from 250 to 500 bikes in October 2018.
The year ahead
Since expanding our fleet in October, we were able to improve reliability for riders across the city. In fact, we saw that our utilization rate remained consistent at just over eight trips per bike per day, even after we expanded; which reveals the amount of demand that was unserved by our restricted fleet size. That number remained consistent through mid-November, when the cold weather brought it back in line with our typical trends in seasonal demand.
And the demand isn’t just in San Francisco. In the last quarter of 2018, our app was opened almost 60,000 times on average per month by riders outside of our San Francisco service area, demonstrating that people across the Bay — from Richmond City to San Jose — know about JUMP and want to use our services.
JUMP is committed to serving the Bay Area. We are in active discussions with cities beyond San Francisco and look forward to working collaboratively with local government and organizations here to bring our convenient, affordable, and flexible e-bikes to their residents.