Uber wants its service to be the one you think of when you need to move around a city. But it doesn’t expect you to use only its ridesharing service. In fact, it knows you might sometimes want to use public transit, too, so it’s changing its app in a bid to become a “one-stop shop for transportation.”
Besides the car-based service on which it made its name, Uber has also been making investments in the world of bike- and scootersharing. Broadening its scope further, Uber has just announced its first-ever integration with public transit, adding information for routes and times to its app, starting in Denver, Colorado.
The company has hooked up with Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD) to make it happen, with the bus and train information being provided by transit data company Moovit. It means Uber riders in Denver can now plan their journey using real-time information and end-to-end directions — all from the Uber app.
The presentation isn’t so different to what you get with Google Maps and Apple Maps. When you enter your destination, you’ll see “Transit” next to UberX or Uber Pool options. Once selected, you’ll be able to view available transit routes for your destination, along with real-time departure and arrival times. You’ll also see walking directions to and from the transit stations, and an added bonus is that riders will soon be able to buy and use RTD tickets through the app.
It might seem odd that Uber is helping folks with information for buses and trains, but part of the idea is to make it easier for those who want to start or finish a journey in an Uber while using public transit in between. It should also result in people jumping into the Uber app more, steering them clear of rival services.
As for RTD, it’s well aware that Uber is a popular option for riders and so it hopes that the move to add its own services to the company’s app will make life that little bit easier for residents and visitors who might want to use both services to get around.
David Genova, RTD’s CEO, puts it like this: “Our customers want their trips to be as seamless as possible, and a collaboration like this one allows them to plan for travel from end to end, including additional first mile and last mile options. RTD is pleased to work with Uber as we present riders with additional, complementary options to most efficiently reach their destination.”
As for Uber, its CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, has already made it clear how he wants the company to become an “urban mobility platform” that integrates a range of transportation services.
If the Denver program works out, expect to see public transit information landing on the Uber app for other cities before too long.
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