It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say Uber wants to be almost everything to everyone, transportation-wise. In a recent post in the Uber newsroom blog the company makes a point that, while some riders view Uber as a single-purpose transportation solution, there are many ways riders can use Uber to get from point A to point B.
According to Uber, many riders view Uber as a vacation or weekend ride and don’t consider ridesharing for commuting or running everyday errands. Admitting that public transportation still has its place, Uber sees its role as a complementary service, especially for commuters. The company cites a March 2016 Shared-Use Mobility Center (SUMC) study conducted for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
The SUMC study, titled Shared Mobility and the Transformation of Public Transit, has four key findings, all of which favor ridesharing. “The more people use shared modes, the more likely they are to use public transit, own fewer cars, and spend less on transportation overall,” the study finds. “Shared modes complement public transit, enhancing urban mobility. Shared modes will continue to grow in significance, and public entities should engage with them to ensure that benefits are widely and equitably shared. The public sector and private mobility operators are eager to collaborate to improve paratransit using emerging approaches and technology.” You can read the entire study here.
The major takeaway from the SUMC study for Uber is that as people find alternatives to driving their own cars, the one-car-one-driver model, they will increasing enjoy the freedom and economy gained from using multiple mobility modes including public transportation, carsharing, bikesharing, and ridesharing. Uber wants and intends to be the primary choice for the ridesharing component in that mix.
Uber see its multi-passenger commuting solution, UberPool, as a good choice for many. UberPool is available in limited cities now but the company intends to expand it. Uber also touts Uber for Business, a program through which Uber will “help manage expenses when it comes to travel for its employees.”
So overall Uber sees itself as good for cities because it can reduce vehicle traffic and emissions. It will benefit the public by providing complementary services to public transportation, and Uber drivers will also benefit because they’ll have a larger pool of customers.