Uber customers who live in Denver may notice something strange when they open the company's app today: a small train car with the word "transit" next to it, on top of the list of usual ride options. A quick tap produces a list of bus or train routes, as well as the expected fare and end-to-end directions. It is the first example of Uber's many years of effort to integrate public transport options in his app.
According to the company's transit team, the goal is to discourage people from using their personal vehicles by offering more transport options, whether it's a bike, scooter or now, a bus or train. It is no secret that Uber the & # 39; One Ring & # 39; want to be transported, the app that brings all other modes together and binds them in the dark.
This happens at a time when Uber is confronted with increasing criticism of its negative effects on public transport throughout the country. The declining bus ride and metrorhythm is linked to the rise of Uber's popularity in dozens of cities. The company hopes to suppress this criticism by offering transit equality in its app.
"We have to prepare transit for the future and make it the most competitive way to relocate, because we want to see that", says Andrew Salzberg, Uber & # 39; s head of transport policy and research. "We are so convinced that transit is in fact the best way to travel around in many cities that we want to place in our app as a driver's proposal."
This theory will first be tested in Denver. Uber drivers in Denver will now see real-time bus and train information when they open the app, courtesy of transit data firm Moovit. And in a few weeks they can even buy train tickets in the Uber app, thanks to a partnership with mobile ticketing company Masabi.
This could be a blessing for Denver, which struggled to keep pace with regional growth. Total transit journeys in the Denver region are increasing steadily. But while the population also increased, the city has poured millions of dollars into projects to expand the motorway. As long as Denver continues to build more car capacity, people will drive more and the region will receive less value from the investment in transit that it makes.
It is unclear whether the appearance of throughput options in the Uber app will greatly contribute to improving the Denver transit system, but it certainly does not hurt. Undoubtedly, it is unusual for the company to promote a transport option that does not specifically return money to its own treasury. But since he held the reins in 2017, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has been on a mission to reform Uber's reputation for breaking rules, especially as the company wants to move forward with the expected public offer later this year.
"We have a proud history of cannibalizing our own journeys with cheaper services," says Salzberg, referring to Uber X (cheaper than Uber Black), UberPool and then cycling and scooter rides. "If there is a cheaper, better way to get you to your destination, we want to easily find and use it for our drivers in the app."
Uber obviously benefits from the integration of public transport by training its drivers to use the app for all other apps claiming to be one-stop-shops for transport, such as Transit, Citymapper, various e-scooter apps and its main rival Lyft. "We do not want people to jump between different apps, which sometimes have different information than others," says David Reich, head of transit at Uber.
Finally, Uber hopes to start offering multimodal options, assuming that the company can convince customers to make more Uber trips to and from bus stops or train stations. And the addition of in-app ticketing is another potential source of income. Finding new ways to make money is crucial for Uber, a money earner, who said that it does not expect that it will be profitable for at least three years and that it faces increasing competition in the rides sector. "This is a starting point for us," Reich said.