What’s Uber up to? New choices point to local transportation takeover

Shortly after buying the Jump bike-sharing service, Uber is casting a wider net, adding more options to help you get where you want to go. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says the ridesharing company will be offering new public transit and car rental options, TechCrunch reports.

So now, in addition to hitting up Uber Bike for temporary use of an urban two-wheeler, you can book public transit tickets or connect with a nearby car owner to rent their ride for local use. The new services will roll out in different cities on various schedules.

Soon you may need a diagram to connect Uber’s partners and subsidiaries. Here’s the short version: Jump is called Uber Bike; instant car-booking service Getaround powers Uber Rent; and mobile-ticketing platform Masabi — sounds like Wasabi — is behind the public transit access service.

Uber Rent, the new local car rental option, will let you connect with a local car owner to book a car for as little as one hour or a day at a time. Insurance is included with all rentals.

Getaround, the service behind Uber Rent, currently operates in eight U.S. cities. Uber Rent will kick off in San Francisco later this month. The company’s plan is to roll out Uber Rent in additional cities once the company determines the market for the product is “solid,” according to TechCrunch.

London-based Masabi doesn’t measure coverage by cities, but by transportation agencies. For example, residents and travelers can use Masabi to buy tickets for the Los Angeles Metrolink, London’s Thames Clippers, Boston’s MBTA, and New York’s MTA.  Masabi currently connects with 30 agencies worldwide.

After you purchase a ticket using Masabi from within the Uber app, you can use the app to display a boarding pass for your transit ride.

Khosrowshahi told TechCrunch that Uber is working with cities to share data and explore options. Uber appears intent on cornering the market on local transportation modes, and Khosrowshahi said he would add any one that fits to Uber’s growing list of offerings.

Perhaps next Valentine’s Day, if you’re in New York, you’ll be able to open the mobile app to book an Uber horse carriage ride to the Lincoln Center.


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