Uber Partners with the Global Public Transport Association

By Andrew Salzberg, Head of Transportation Policy & Research and Marius Macku, Senior Associate, Public Policy & Government Relations, EU

Over the past seven years, we’ve learned a lot about how our users get around in over 600 cities across the globe. But we also know we have a lot to learn from the urban mobility experts. That’s why we are honored to join the International Association of Public Transportation (UITP), which has been representing the interests of public transportation around the world for more than 135 years.

As our role in the future of mobility continues to grow and evolve, we are looking for every opportunity to strengthen our relationship with the public transportation industry. We wanted to take this moment, as we join UITP, to outline how we hope public transportation and Uber can work together in the future.

First, we strongly believe that the most efficient way to move people through the core of cities will always look like mass transit does today: high capacity, high frequency systems running on dedicated rights of way like metro’s, light rail lines, and BRT. We believe that continued funding for and expansion of such systems is essential, something we’ve supported across the world.

We also believe, and have growing evidence to demonstrate, that on-demand mobility providers like Uber can make rapid transit systems even more effective, by seamlessly connecting riders to their final destination. We’ve seen that in places as different from one another as Los Angeles and London.

But on streets and highways across the world, large and growing volumes of travel continue to move in personal cars. The inefficiency of that travel is well-known. Most cars have only one rider, enormous amounts of parking mar the landscape, and cities sprawl to meet the requirements of the personal automobile. There’s an enormous opportunity to improve our transportation system if we can convert more rides from personal cars to shared modes of travel.

Models produced by the International Transport Forum have shown that if all rides on personal cars were converted to shared mobility, we could cut the number of vehicles in a typical city down by 97%. We’d also get enormous decreases in congestion, lower transportation costs, and vastly increased access to jobs and other opportunities for all.

That’s the vision we are joining UITP to help build. It’s a vision of a world where traditional public transport and new shared modes are seamless integrated, and where services like Uber can help bring new alternatives to car ownership to suburbs and small towns.

We recognize that our technology and approach can bring new tools to the table, but we also know we have a lot to learn from those who’ve been developing public transportation for more than a century. We’ve already been developing partnerships with different transport authorities and cities. By joining UITP, we want to further extend and deepen this the dialogue with public transport operators everywhere. We’re excited for the ride ahead.