In the United States, after a cameo appearance at Austin, Texas’s SWSW festival, dockless bike rental made proper city street debuts last summer, as Spin and LimeBike started up in Seattle (both of them already offer services in San Francisco). In the fall, Mobike and Ofo each expanded to the US, beginning with Washington, D.C. and Dallas, respectively. Just like in China, consumers and regulators are starting to complain about pile-ups and obstructions. In Dallas, which particularly embraced dockless bike-sharing and where Ofo alone now has some 10,000 bikes, City Hall has called on bike companies to mend their ways and is contemplating rules.

Uber did not reply immediately to questions about how it will ensure its bikes are parked in public racks.

Uber’s move follows a similar announcement from Didi, its former Chinese nemesis (arguably, it continues to be an arch-rival with investments in overseas Uber competitors). In January, the Chinese company launched a bike-sharing service inside its app that lets users ride vehicles from Ofo and Bluegogo, the once number-three player that Didi took under its wing.

It’s not clear if dockless bike-sharing is a winning business model, given the slim margins and logistical headaches. But to some degree, Didi and Uber’s near-simultaneous entry into the sector validates the trend. For Didi, the company is reportedly losing rides to bike-sharing (paywall), as Chinese consumers opt to hop on the nearest Mobike for a short-distance trip rather than hail a car. As bike-sharing spreads across the United States, Uber probably fears the same.

Correction, Feb. 2: This piece incorrectly stated that Uber would charge $2 per minute for the use of a bike. It will charge $2 per 30 minutes.

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