Last week we launched a partnership with Uber Seattle called UberPEDAL, where customers can select an Uber car equipped with a Saris bike rack. If you are in need of a ride, be it due to weather, due to need of bike maintenance, due to sobriety (or lack thereof), your Uber driver can take you AND your bike to your destination. We are excited about this partnership for what it brings to the people of Seattle — two innovative companies partnering together to further push transportation options and to respond to the new demands of the consumers.
Uber has been a major disrupter to the traditional taxi
model. Several years ago they arrived on
the scene with a bold idea that consumers would pay to "share" a ride with a
driver in a private car, not "labeled" as a taxi. The service was centered around a cool,
simple app. With just a few clicks/swipes, the app allows the consumer to
request a car, and allows Uber to set clear arrival expectations, share
information about the driver and the car, connect via text directly with the
driver, and conduct the business transaction with no exchange of paper money. These were all key touch points with their
target demographic. We were ready for a
new taxi experience, and it has been a huge hit.
Similarly, bikes have been transforming the way that people want to use our city streets. In bold numbers, millennials are moving away from car ownership and car dependency. In fact, in 2001, those aged 16 to 34 years of age drove 10,300 miles a year. In 2009, they drove an average 7,900 miles. Down almost 25%. And, along with that trend is the movement toward more people commuting to work by bike. The growth curve varies by city, but overall, commuting by bike has increased on average almost 40% across the country.
Seattle has embraced both of these trends on a big level. A couple years ago, Seattle was singled out by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel when he stated that Chicago was going to take all of Seattle's bikers, and the jobs that come with them. Then-Mayor Mike McGinn quickly responded that Seattle was going to work hard to keep them at home in Seattle. This public rousting over bikes, bikers and their connection to jobs shows the public will is shifting toward mainstream acceptance and even embracing of the value of the bike. Seattle has put their money where their mouth is, including a new protected bike lane on 2nd Avenue which opened this summer and was reported to "wow" people and "revolutionize" the way people get around downtown. And, current Mayor Ed Murray recently said about the adoption of Uber, "Seattle is taking the lead to show how we can adjust to the very rapidly changing world of technology."
Together, the Saris and Uber partnership represents the way we see these transportation trends moving together and moving forward. A trip may now involve multiple modes of transportation, and UberPEDAL shows yet another form of public transportation that wants to embrace and accommodate the cyclist and the bike. This is a big step, and is deserving of celebration.
We are excited to be part of the change and the wave of the future. Seattle — enjoy, we are excited to learn how UberPEDAL impacts Uber experiences. Let's drive demand and help spread UberPEDAL into other markets across the country!
Learn more at blog.uber.com/uberpedal