Uber announced that it will begin selling train and bus tickets through its application to its customers in Denver, Colorado. It is the first step in the search for big bets of the giant that moves to become the de facto application for smartphones for all modes of transport, not just cars. It is Uber's opportunity to mitigate some of the negative effects that its growing popularity has had on public transport.
Following a tiered deployment, Denver residents will be able to use the Uber application to purchase tickets for the Regional Transportation District (RTD), which operates the city's buses and trains. Buying transit tickets through Uber will cost the same amount as through existing options, the company said.
The Uber app will allow users to buy and redeem a variety of tickets, including three-hour passes, day and month. Users activate the tickets, which are stored in the "Tickets" section of the application, when boarding a bus or train. Once purchased, tickets are available even when your phone is offline.
Uber's new transit function is driven by Masabi, a technology company based in London that builds a mobile ticket software for public transport. This is the first incarnation of the partnership between Uber and Masabi since the two companies reached an agreement last year to integrate the mobile ticketing platform of the latter in the application of the former. Uber users in Denver have been able to see real-time information on buses and railways when they opened the application since January, courtesy of Moovit traffic data signing.
The news comes days before the highly anticipated IPO of Uber in an unprecedented valuation. of $ 90 billion. For years, the company has faced 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 curb those criticisms by giving the same foot of transit 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 What is required as part of Uber's IPO. The company described public transport as part of its "total accessible market," a term it defined as the way it can make money in the long term. In the section that lists "risk factors," Uber describes its many competitors, including "public transportation, which generally provides the lowest-cost transportation option in many cities."
The language was a change from how Uber had spoken publicly for years of being a complement to public transportation. After an uproar among transit advocates, Uber updated its file to largely eliminate references to competing with public transportation.
For now, Uber is making its first foray into public transport slowly, one city at a time. Earlier this week, the company added subway and bus schedules in real time, time and cost comparisons, and point-to-point instructions for customers in London. It is expected to start a ticket purchase option in the coming weeks.