By Chris Pangilinan, Head of Global Policy for Public Transportation, and David Reich, Head of Uber Transit
Public transportation has been the backbone of the world’s biggest cities for over a century, and continues to be to this day. A strong public transportation network, one that is convenient to use and easy to navigate, allows people to reduce their reliance on private cars, and helps make cities much more livable. But the way we use the world’s biggest and oldest mass transit systems hasn’t changed in a long time.
This is why Uber has partnered with transit agencies around the world. These partnerships help transportation disadvantaged workers get to their late night jobs, offer people with disabilities an on-demand, lower cost alternative to traditional paratransit services, and extend the reach of light rail in the suburbs. And this year we launched Uber Transit for the first time, allowing public transport riders to plan their trip, and in some cases pay the fare, directly in Uber’s app. We started in Denver and quickly expanded to London, Boston, Sydney and Chicago.
Today, we are taking this effort even further, with the launch of Uber Transit Journey Planning in three of the largest and most iconic cities in the world: Paris, Mexico City, and our home region, the San Francisco Bay Area. But we are just getting started, by the end of this year we will launch Transit Journey Planning in a total of 10 cities including those launched today. These launches will touch every continent around the globe, bringing information from some of the biggest public transportation systems onto the Uber app.
Uber Transit Journey Planning, the first of its kind among app-based ride sharing companies, gives riders the ability to plan door- to-door transit journeys with step-by-step directions, complete with estimated fares and travel times provided in real time by a third party. And in Denver, with just a few more taps, riders can then purchase and redeem their transit fare in the Uber app, with no need to stand in line for a ticket or have exact change to board a bus.
This year we will also roll out further enhancements to improve the experience, such as nearby Transit stop information and the ability to add your favorite lines for immediate access, and push alerts when your train is delayed.
Following the success of Transit experience in Denver, we have brought Uber Transit Journey Planning to Boston, London, Sydney, and Chicago. Whether you are looking to take the T to get to work at Central Square, the Tube to a football match at Wembley Stadium, or the Route 151 Sheridan bus to go shopping on Michigan Avenue, you can find your way in the Uber app.
We recognize that in many cases, public transportation can be the fastest and lowest cost option to get around. This is why we will continue working with cities to make these trips even easier to take. We have a long way to go, and we feel like we’re just getting started. Be it through journey planning, in-app ticketing, or transit partnerships, we are excited to work with more cities and transit agencies around the world to strengthen public transportation and reduce individuals’ reliance on private car ownership. Find out more at uber.com/transit.