Uber is lined to introduce a function that will enable its users to book train and bus tickets through its app in Denver, Colorado. It’s the first step within the ride-hailing giant’s high-stakes quest to turn out to be the de-facto smartphone app for all modes of transportation, not merely cars. It’s Uber’s solution to blunt many negative impacts its growing reputation has had on public transport.
Following a staggered rollout, people of Denver will be using Uber’s app to book tickets for the Regional Transportation District, which operates town’s buses and trains. Buying transit tickets through Uber will price the same value as by existing choices, the corporate stated.
Uber’s app will let customers buy and redeem a variety of tickets, including three-hour, one day, and month-to-month passes. Customers activate vouchers, which are saved in the “Transit tickets” part of the app when boarding a bus or train. Once bought, tickets can be found even when your phone is offline.
Uber’s new transit function is powered by Masabi, a London-based tech firm that develops mobile ticketing software for public transportation. That is the first incarnation of Uber and Masabi’s partnership because the two firms first struck a deal last year to combine the latter’s mobile ticketing platform into the former’s app. Uber riders in Denver have been in a position to see real-time bus and train data after they open the app since January.
The information comes merely days before Uber’s highly expected IPO at a record-breaking valuation of $90 billion. For years, the corporate has been criticized for its adverse effects on public transportation in the US. Reducing bus and subway ridership has been pegged to the rise of Uber’s recognition in dozens of cities. The corporate hopes to dull that criticism by giving transit equal position in its app.
The issue is that many consultants see Uber as a direct competitor with public transportation. The corporate admitted in its S-1 filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that’s required as a part of Uber’s IPO. The corporate described public transportation as a part of its “complete addressable market,” a phrase it outlined as the way it can generate income over the long run. Under the section “risk factors,” Uber outlines its many rivals, along with “public transportation, which generally gives the bottom-price transportation choice in lots of cities.”
The language was a deviation from how Uber had talked publicly for years about being a complement to public transit. After an uproar among transit advocates, Uber updated its filing to eradicate references to competing with public transportation primarily.
For now, Uber is taking its first inroad into public transportation slowly, one metropolis at a time. Earlier this week, the corporate added real-time subway and bus schedules, time and value comparisons, and point-to-point instructions for users in London. A ticket-buying choice is scheduled to launch within a few weeks.