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Uber launches ‘UberPEDAL’ on-demand bike rack option in Portland

Posted by on May 29th, 2015 at 9:26 am

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Carsharing service Uber announced a new bike rack option this morning. Dubbed “UberPEDAL” the new system will allow Uber customers to request a car through their app that can pick both them and their bike.

Here’s more from Uber:

Whether you’re not able to ride because of a flat, a torrential downpour, or consuming one too many beers, Uber now has you covered. At the touch of a button and with a $5 surcharge, you can request an uberX equipped with a Saris bike rack (fits up to two bicycles), and in minutes your car will arrive, ready to take you and your bike where you need to go!

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Uber says during the launch period only a limited amount of drivers will offer the bike racks. The company says you’re most likely to find one in their core service area downtown.

The racks Uber is using are made in Madison, Wisconsin by Saris.

Uber has been operating in Portland for about a month now and they say over 3,000 people have signed up to drive and over 70,000 trips have been taken.

To learn more about UberPEDAL, join Uber staff at Velo Cult Bike Shop & Tavern (1969 NE 42nd) tonight from 7:00 to 10:00 pm. They’ll host a party with live music, free bike inspections and an appearance by Pedal Powered Talk Show host Boaz Frankel.

Uber’s focus on bike riders follows the lead of another carsharing service Car2Go. As of this past March about half of Car2Go’s 500 Portland vehicles are equipped with bike racks.

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William Henderson
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Odd bed fellows is what.

joel
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joel

meh, whatever. id think being ada-compliant would be a higher priority than bike racks.

John Lascurettes
Guest

Higher priority only if they were regulated that way. Uber is all about profit. Which is why their drivers make less money as time goes by, they don’t give a rat’s A about ADA and so on.

seeshellbike
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seeshellbike

I always love more options.

lahar
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lahar

I am blissfully ignorant as to what an uber is.

LC
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LC

It’s a taxi you hail with your cell phone.

Adam H.
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Adam H.

$5 surcharge?! car2go doesn’t charge extra for bike racks. Sounds like just another excuse for Uber to gouge their customers.

Eric
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Eric

Are there checkboxes for “recumbent”, “longtail”, or “tallbike”?

Tait
Guest
Tait

tandem?

(I suspect not, because they’ve said right there what kind of rack it is, and that type of rack won’t accommodate those.)

Tom
Guest
Tom

The overall safety impact of introducing Uber to a city is unclear and needs more study.

I would like to see data on collision rates per mile of ride share vs taxi vs personal vehicles. It has been proposed that the collision rates of ride share are lower than that of taxis, but higher than personal vehicles. Uber must have this data, so not a good sign that they would not share it. Based on the fact that Uber drivers spend so much time on their phones, I’m suspecting they have higher collision rates than personal vehicles.

On the other hand. There is some evidence gathered by Uber and MADD that drunk driving collisions for drivers under 30 are reduced when Uber is introduced to a city. They don’t know why and this deserves a 3rd party study, but any reduction in drunk driving is clearly huge for road safety.

https://blog.uber.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/UberMADD-Report.pdf

Uber with bike racks could also provide an option to reduce collision rates due to drunk cycling.

Especially distressing though is the Uber/Metromiles policy to only collect non-behavioral Telematics for Uber. From the article…”We do not take into consideration behavioral factors such as speeding, acceleration and hard braking.” This is an excellent opportunity for the city to step in and require that all Uber vehicles operating in the city collect, store, and analyize behavioral based Telematics. There is simply no reason not to as these systems are readily available and pay for themselves. Regardless of who analyzes the data or how the its analyzed, simply having drivers knowing the data is being collected is showing to significantly improve driving behavior.

http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2015/02/13/pay-per-mile-is-here-metromile-introduces-usage-ba

Dwaine Dibbly
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Dwaine Dibbly

Hey, Uber! How about working on something that matters, like vehicles that can transport people with wheelchairs, etc?

Tait
Guest
Tait

To say that bicycles — or people who ride them — don’t matter is going to be an unpopular opinion on this forum.

I would applaud Uber accommodating people with wheelchairs, too, even though I don’t use one. And if they did, I wouldn’t berate them for not caring about something that does impact me, like bicycles. Let’s be more inclusive, not exclusive. Encourage improvements for all.

Peter Billings
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Peter Billings

Look at the app, there’s an option for wheelchairs specifically for Portland.

jonno
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jonno

I guess this opinion might qualify me as the worst person in Portland, but Uber just keeps offering me really good user experiences and I will surely use this service in the foreseeable future. Uber and other carshare services are a great complement to my low-car lifestyle and as evil as they are, this makes it hard for me to hate them.

Fozman
Guest
Fozman

Uber rocks! My car was in the shop this week for 2 days and I used Uber instead of renting a car. It was cheaper than renting a car when you add up all my trips that I had to make and would have used a rental for. The time a rental car would have been sitting idle is the time it paid to take Uber.

Both the drivers and the cars were much better than any cab I’ve been in. I think bike racks are a great idea.

paul
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paul

My thoughts as an Uber driver and x trimet lift driver. As I understand it uber was not giving away bike racks. The driver has to buy it. To charge $5.00 extra for the convince of someone coming to your rescue with a car and bike rack seems like a deal. (For me the breakeven point seems like it could take a year or more before the investment makes money.) Tell me what your alternative option was to get home that is so much more convenient and cheaper. Whatever that option is, guess what, you still have it and you have another option.

I understand where people are coming from with the ADA, wheelchair access and the like. I did that job for a year. What I think is missing is that having a car come and pick u up and drop you off is not a public service in my mind, it is a luxury service that is now affordable. Are town cars setup for wheelchairs? I am all for people with needs to get where they are going as I will be in that same boat eventually but it is a price everyone is going to have to pay not just big bad UBER. I would love to be able to pick up wheel chairs but I don’t have the money to buy that kind of equipment. At the end of the day I really don’t work for Uber I work for myself, I pay for my own gas and car. Uber is really a broker who provides insurance in case something bad happens and a notification that someone needs a ride.

Out of 100 riders 99 will say how bad and hated Portland taxi were, and how thankful Uber is allowed to run in Portland. One person will say how much they hate Comcast or the like. I highly doubt wheelchair riders were faring any better with Portland Taxi companies monopoly with or without UBER.