Uber is adding public transport schedules and directions to its application in London. As of today, residents of London who open the Uber app and mark their destination (expecting to see only travel and hail options) now will also get a comparison of costs and time, in addition to point-to-point instructions to perform the same trip with the large amount of London public. Transportation options. It is part of Uber's broader effort to become a one stop shop for all modes of transport.
The car travel company first introduced the public transport prices in the application. , and addresses in Denver, Colorado, earlier this year. London is now the second city to receive the function, although Uber hopes to be able to implement it in many other cities in the coming months.
The Uber app will feature real-time information about the London subway and bus, as well as train, tram, shuttle, riverboat, light rail and commuter rail service throughout Greater London. Uber users still can not buy metro and bus fares in the application, although Uber plans to offer that capacity at a later date.
"London is home to the most iconic public transport network in the world, and we are delighted to provide live traffic information on the Uber app," said Jamie Heywood, Uber regional general manager for Northern Europe and the This, in a statement. . "Over time, our goal is to help people replace their car with their phone by offering a range of mobility options, whether cars, bicycles or public transport, all in the Uber app."
Uber has a complicated relationship with regulators in London. In 2017, the city's transportation authority revoked Uber's license to operate, citing numerous safety concerns. Uber recovered a trial license last June that requires a verified audit independently of its own operations every six months.
The city is also moving to end pollution and congestion. Last month, Transport for London ruled that private rental vehicles, including Uber, would no longer be exempt from the daily congestion charge of £ 11.50 for driving in central London. Only vehicles with zero emissions will remain exempt from paying the fare.
The integration of London transit information is taking place at a time when Uber is facing increasing criticism for its negative effects. on public transportation in the United States. The decrease in the number of bus and metro passengers has been linked to the increase in Uber's popularity in dozens of cities. The company hopes to mitigate these criticisms by giving the same foot to its application.
The problem is that many experts consider that Uber is in direct competition with public transport. In fact, the company admitted both in its S-1 file to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. UU That is required as part of Uber's plan to become a publicly traded company. Uber described public transport as part of his "total addressable market," a term he defined as what he can address in the long term. In addition, in the section that lists "risk factors," Uber describes its many competitors, including "public transportation, which generally offers the lowest cost transportation option in many cities."
The language was a change from how Uber had talked Publicly for years about being a complement to public transportation. In its updated presentation, Uber largely eliminated references to competing with public transport.
By integrating public transport into its application, Uber recognizes that it is indirectly encouraging its customers to use a mode of transport from which the company does not directly receive the revenues. . But, obviously, Uber benefits from training its customers to use their application on all other applications that claim to be unique windows for transport, such as Transit, Citymapper, several e-scooter applications and, of course, their main rival Lyft.