Providence JUMP bike program temporarily pulled following vandalism and theft

THE JUMP BIKE program in Providence is being put on pause due to reports of the bikes being stolen. / PBN FILE PHOTO/CHRIS BERGENHEIM
THE JUMP BIKE program in Providence is being put on pause due to reports of the bikes being stolen. / PBN FILE PHOTO/CHRIS BERGENHEIM

PROVIDENCE – The JUMP bike program in Providence will temporarily go offline following reports of vandalism and theft of the bikes, the Providence Mayor’s office announced Thursday.

JUMP is owned by Uber Technologies Inc.

“As part of a commitment to provide residents and visitors with convenient and equitable intermodal transportation options, a joint public safety effort will collect bicycles and explore options to enhance security mechanisms for the system and to promote responsible ridership,” Mayor Jorge O. Elorza’s office said in a statement Thursday.

The collection of the bikes has begun already.

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“Safety is at the heart of everything we do, and after acts of vandalism on JUMP bikes, we have decided in partnership with the city, to temporarily remove bikes from operation in Providence,” the company said in a statement. “We remain committed to operating in Providence and plan to work with the city on a solution that will hopefully allow us to return some bikes this fall.”

Pulling the bikes is expected to allow law enforcement and the company to identify and recover stolen bikes, which often have their GPS function disabled. Vandals had taken to smashing the bikes open to remove the computer components that would allow the company to keep track of the bikes.

The decision to pause the service was announced by JUMP, Lifespan and Tufts Health Plan Thursday.

The company will not be charging “Boost” users or monthly subscribers during the period in which the bikes are out of service.

The company said that the problem with its bikes in Providence is unique to the city.

There have reportedly been a few crimes committed by riders of JUMP bikes in the city lately, drawing public attention to the situation.

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