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Row of JUMP electric bikes. Photo: ANNA-ROSE GASSOT/AFP via Getty Images

After Uber’s recent transfer of its JUMP division of bike and scooter rentals to rival Lime, Uber is disposing of thousands of its older electric bikes. 

Driving the news: Over the last few days, reports that stocks of JUMP bikes in several cities are getting scrapped have angered biking advocates. They see Uber's decision as a waste of some of the most beloved vehicles for shared use. 

What they’re saying: “We explored donating the remaining, older-model bikes, but given many significant issues — including maintenance, liability, safety concerns, and a lack of consumer-grade charging equipment — we decided the best approach was to responsibly recycle them,” an Uber spokesperson said in a statement. 

  • The company is disposing of whatever vehicles Lime did not choose to purchase as part of the deal, and says it’s working with a firm that specializes in this type of recycling.  
  • Uber says that the proprietary design of the JUMP bikes and scooters means they require custom parts and only specially trained technicians can repair them, making it challenging and even unsafe to donate the vehicles to organizations or individuals.
  • It also says that there is no consumer-grade charging equipment available for its bikes.

Between the lines: Uber appears to have offloaded its bike and scooter division in the first place as a cost-cutting measure, so it's unlikely to take any steps that add to its costs.

  • Meanwhile, acquirer Lime also has to be vigilant about taking on additional costs given its precariousness amid the coronavirus pandemic. It likely took only the bikes it deemed essential to its operations. 

Go deeper

Ex-Uber security chief charged with concealing 2016 hack

Photo: Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Uber's former chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, was charged Thursday for obstructing justice and concealing a felony for his role in attempting to cover up a 2016 hack that compromised the data of millions of Uber customers and drivers.

The big picture: The hack didn't become public until a year after it happened, prompting the company's then-new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, to fire Sullivan and some of his deputies for their handling of the incident.

Uber, Lyft win delay on court order forcing driver reclassification

Photo: Ali Balikci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

An appeals court in California granted Uber and Lyft a stay on an injunction that would have forced the companies to reclassify drivers as employees Friday morning.

Why it matters: The stay came just 12 hours before the companies planned to suspend their ride-hailing services across California rather than comply with the injunction. They're now free to continue with business as usual while the appeal process plays out.

The fight over turning gig workers into gig employees

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The gig economy model powering a number of key tech giants threatens to break down in California, in a battle that may spill out across the country over whether gig workers should be considered employees.

Why it matters: Treating gig companies' workers as employees would guarantee them benefits and other rights they don't necessarily get as independent contractors. But the prospect presents an existential threat to the firms' business models.