>> You may be used to opening the Uber app to order a taxi. But in Germany, you'll soon be able to order a bicycle instead. Uber says it's about to launch its so-called Jump electric bike sharing service in Europe, because Uber is also trying to clean up its image, promote a greener future.
Reuters' Emma Thomas is in Berlin and attended the conference where Uber's chief executive announced the expansion plans.>> He was trying to project a new image for Uber. In fact, he was talking about being the new Uber and being more open to listening and talking to authorities around Europe rather than the kind of brash image that the company had before of just ignoring regulations and launching services without talking to the authorities.
But it was interesting because while he was talking in Berlin, you could actually hear the whistles of the protestors outside, the taxi drivers who'd gathered outside the conference center.>> The taxi hailing company has faced a rough ride in Europe. Such as protests from traditional taxi drivers, and outright bans which have forced it to shut down in cities in Germany, France, Italy, and Spain.
And in the UK, Uber's currently fighting a decision by London's transport regulator to strip it of its license completely after it was deemed unfit to run a taxi service. In return, Uber started sharing data with authorities with added trips to try to fight congestion. Uber bought Jump, a startup as a part of a bid to become the go to app for urban transport as well as bike services the app will allow passengers to book tickets for buses, trains, and cars.
But bike sharing is a crowded market all over the world, and comes with its own mountain of issues. Uber plans to launch in Berlin by the end summer before targeting other European cities.