Life as a pedestrian, cyclist, or scootist in the Washington region can be a harrowing experience. Vehicles blocking crosswalks or standing in bike lanes are commonplace occurrences that put everyone at risk—especially those of us not protected by two tons of steel.
When Uber introduced its new Jump bikes in Sacramento last spring, officials figured the flashy red bikes would be a popular complement to their main rideshare auto service, given the capital city’s good weather, flat terrain and general pro-cycling mentality.
But how popular? The answer came as a surprise even to Uber.
An October study found more Sacramentans were renting Jump bikes than using Uber’s car service by a 53 percent to 47 percent margin. That makes Sacramento the first of 16 Uber cities that have both bike and car service where the bikes are more popular, company officials said.
“They are being very clear that the bike lanes are there for people who are biking.”
he District Department of Transportation wants to make clear to drivers that the city’s bike lanes are not to be used for parking, or to pick up or drop off passengers; it also wants to leave no doubt about the rules for traffic enforcement officers.
Chiefly, they say, the lanes are for bike riders. Vehicles are not allowed to enter the lanes unless safely turning at an intersection, into a driveway or alley, or entering a legal parking space.
That means drivers are not allowed to move into the lanes to avoid conflict with other traffic. Taxis, Ubers and Lyfts are not permitted to pick up or drop off passengers there either. Commercial trucks should look elsewhere to load or unload merchandise.
Motor vehicles are allowed to stop in a bike lane only when necessary to enter a legal parking space or to follow the directions of a police officer, according to proposed revisions to existing city regulations.
Uber, Lyft, and taxi vehicles picking up or dropping off passengers as well as delivery trucks transporting goods would be explicitly barred from blocking city bike lanes under new rules that the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced last Friday. The changes aim to close loopholes in the current rules as part of D.C.’s Vision Zero traffic safety program.
In partnership with Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD), Uber is putting bus and train schedules, directions and expected fares into its app, the company announced in a blog post. Eventually, users will be able to buy RTD tickets directly through the app.
Uber is promising to expand its transit information to more cities in collaboration with Moovit, a transit data and route planning platform, and Masabi, a ticketing and payment provider.
“Our customers want their trips to be as seamless as possible, and a collaboration like this one allows them to plan for travel from end to end, including additional first mile and last mile options,” RTD CEO and General Manager David Genova said in a statement.