Given the perils of cramming ourselves into public transport at present – and what value a truly integrated transport system when it’s exactly that which might kill you – there has been ,as we might expect, a boom in travelling by bicycle. To the extent that the bike shops are out of new ones and given that all the Chinese factories closed down there are no others to be had.
At which point Uber is destroying thousands of entirely useful bikes. So, why? Are they tired of losing only that much cash and what to piss away more?
Bikes on bikes on bikes just being needlessly recycled instead of repurposed????️ pic.twitter.com/6eHNfyimwv
— Cris Moffitt (@CrisMoffitt) May 22, 2020
So, what’s the answer here?
The answer, well, it’s the joy of this economic system that we’ve screwed ourselves up with. As Uber themselves have said:
“As part of our recent deal, Lime took possession of tens of thousands of new model Jump bikes and scooters,” an Uber spokesperson told Recode. “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.”
Liability is the thing there. These are specific bikes, made to a specific design. As such it’s Uber – a large corporation with deep pockets – that has to stand behind them. Someone falls off and cracks their head then it’ll be Uber that some ambulance chaser sues. And, given the state of the law, win against.
So, why is Uber pulping perfectly useful bikes? Because out insistence that Big Bad Companies are trying to kill us all makes them do so. Welcome to the bed you made and don’t you dare complain about it, it’s yours, you lie in it.