Uber riders in Denver will be able to tap the new train icon in the app and be presented with a list of bus/train route alternatives to their destination. Riders will also be able to see the expected fare price and get end-to-end directions. Real-time bus and train data will be provided by data firm Moovit while in a few weeks, mobile ticketing company Masabi will enable riders to buy tickets inside the Uber app.
Uber has stated that their goal is to discourage people from using their personal cars by becoming the one-stop shop for accessing several modes of transportation. Surely, this move will not bring a new direct revenue stream to a mobility service that is already struggling to make a profit. However, with the integration of the in-app ticketing feature, there could be another potential source of revenue.
The company is also convinced that offering multimodal options will give them a huge competitive advantage, even if it means promoting other modes of transport than their core business.
Ride-hailing services have long been accused of “taking” riders from public transport. This integration will be an interesting experiment to determine if bundling with other services will have the impact that many of the mobility service companies are actually claiming. Furthermore, a very interesting aspect of this integration is whether Uber managed to negotiate a deal on public transport tickets that can churn out an actual profit for them, or if this will simply bring a wider variety of mobility riders to their platform.
Written by Mahdere DW Amanuel, RISE Viktoria.
1. 2019.01-31. Uber just added public transportation to its app