***UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 2020: After a three-month hiatus and rebranding, the bikes are back! Uber Jump partnered with Lime, so the bikes are available for rental through both the Lime and Uber apps.***
If you keep up with news from Rome, you might be aware that Uber Jump Electric Bike Sharing came to the eternal city in late 2019.
Uber Jump bikes are available in several cities around the world, but Rome is the only one in Italy that currently has them.
Although I was hesitant to ride at first, I’ve come to love grabbing one of the bikes and zipping around the city. It’s a thrill to look up from a bike and see the blue sky glowing behind the Colosseum or the golden light of the sun on the Palatine Hill.
Curious about Uber Jump Electric Bike Sharing in Rome? Read on for all the info you need!
Table of Contents
Uber Jump Electric Bike Sharing in Rome
Uber Jump Electric Bikes: the basics
As you can see from the photos, Uber Jump bikes are red. They’re pedal-assisted electric bikes, so you don’t have to worry about laboring up Rome’s seven hills! The faster you pedal, the faster you ride.
Each bike has a metal basket in the front so you can stash your backpack, purse, or groceries in it. Keep in mind that the baskets often have leaves in them, and sometimes trash from a previous rider (thanks, cretino). If you have something valuable to carry, you might want to bring a bag or a newspaper to put down underneath it.
The bikes also have back lights and reflectors in the spokes of the front tire, and a place to attach your smartphone so you can listen to directions, if need be.
How much do Uber Jump Bikes cost in Rome?
It costs €0.50 to unlock a bike, and then €0.20 per minute after that.
Basically, to unlock the bike and ride it for one minute, you’ve already reached almost half the cost of a metro/bus ticket, which is €1.50. If you’re on a tight budget, public transport might be the better option for going long distances.
How to rent an Uber Jump Electric Bike
Open the Lime or Uber app
You can access the Uber Jump bike rental service in both apps, thanks to the partnership between the companies.
Find a bike near you
Little red bikes will appear to indicate where the closest ones are to you. You can reserve a bike by tapping it and hitting “reserve,” or you can just walk to the bike and pick it up.
Scan the QR code
Each bike has a QR code above the back tire. At the bottom of the reservation screen of the app, there’s a square that activates the scanner. Tap it, and hold your phone over the code. If it doesn’t work, you can manually enter the code that is written vertically on the back wheel guard.
Unlock the bike
You’ll hear a noise as the bike unlocks itself. Guide the cord into the holder, and you’re ready to ride!
How to end your rental
When you’ve reached your destination, park the bike in an appropriate location (i.e. don’t block a sidewalk or take up a parking space). Pull the lock cord all the way out, and then insert the metal part into the hole. You’ll hear a click as the bike locks.
Open your app, and follow the instructions to end the rental. The price will be indicated, and the ending of the rental will be confirmed. You can also reserve the bike for a few minutes if you have to run in somewhere for a quick errand.
If you’ve had a problem with the bike, you can signal it in the app.
DON’T PARK IN A RED ZONE!
It’s very important that you check the app to make sure that you’re within an acceptable parking area! The areas that are out of bounds are indicated in red on the map inside the app. If you park in a red zone, you’ll be charged an extra 28 euros, which you could spend on cacio e pepe instead.
Safety when riding an Uber Jump bike in Rome
If you’ve been to Rome before, you know that it’s not the most bike-friendly city. In Padua, Bologna and other cities in the north, motorists are used to cyclists, and there are bike paths on many streets. In Rome, this isn’t necessarily the case, so riding a bike here can be a little scary.
There are dedicated bike paths and lanes in Rome, but they’re not super extensive. Efforts are currently being made to put down an impressive 150 km of bike paths, but, like any major public works operation, that’ll take awhile.
If you’re interested in finding the bike paths in Rome, just remember that you can only utilize and leave Uber bikes in certain areas of the city, so check the map in your app beforehand just to be sure that you’re all clear.
Wear a helmet
The folks at Uber highly recommend wearing a helmet. As I mentioned above, cycling in Rome can be a bit harrowing. There are lots of big, disorganized intersections. I’ll admit that I’ve found myself a bit sweaty and shaky after riding through some of them, and have been scared nearly to the level of pee pants on at least one occasion (thank you, Piazza Venezia).
Bike helmets do not come with your rental, because ew. You’ll have to bring your own!
Want to ride an Uber Jump Bike in Rome but don’t want to take up space in your suitcase with a helmet? Try this collapsible one.
More concerned about your luggage being overweight? Here’s a lightweight helmet from Schwinn that means you’ll be able to take home that olive oil and wine.
Avoid rush hour
I would flat out refuse to ride a bike in Rome during the morning or evening rush hours, even if I was wearing a suit of armor. Unless you’re a skilled, comfortable cyclist who is accustomed to riding in city traffic, I say avoid riding from 8 – 10 am and 5 – 7 pm.
Be mindful of the surface of the roads
Rome is famous for its sampietrini, the square black stones that some of the city’s streets are paved with. Rome is also infamous for the number of potholes and bumps that line these roads. Between the sampietrini and the holes, you can end up with a pretty nasty back/butt ache after your bike ride if you’re not careful (yes, I am speaking from experience).
If you don’t want to end up with a broken coccyx like Napoleon Dynamite’s grandmother, keep an eye out for uneven stones, potholes, and yes, even sinkholes.
Don’t ride a bike in Rome if…
…you have back problems
See above – Rome’s streets are in pretty bad shape in some areas. It wouldn’t be any fun to end up with a backache, although being all hunched over would make shoveling pasta down your gullet slightly easier, since you’d be closer to the plate. #brightside
…you’ve never ridden a bike in a city
If you’ve never ridden a bike in a city, I wouldn’t recommend Rome as a good place to get your feet wet.
…you don’t know where you’re going
I’d also recommend not riding an Uber Jump bike in Rome unless you are at least slightly familiar with the city, or at least with where you need to go. Yes, you can put your phone into the holder on the front and listen for directions, but directions here can be complicated, so keep that in mind.
Hesitant to rent and ride alone but want to see the eternal city by bike? Take a tour!
This guided electric bike tour of the highlights of Rome’s city center has been rated 4.9 stars by 886 reviewers. It promises visits to several of the city’s major monuments, as well as some stops that are off the beaten path.
Want to know more about micro mobility in Rome?
You can also rent electric scooters through Lime. I personally think they’re the worst. If you want to find out why, check out my post.
Want more Rome? Check out my other posts and guides!
Here’s my free, self-guided walking tour of Rome, with a map included.
Check out my suggestions for seeing Rome off the beaten path.
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