UPDATED, May 2, 2019: Uber, Masabi and Denver's Regional Transportation District (RTD) announced today the launch of Uber transit ticketing, which will enable RTD riders to buy transit tickets through the Uber app and use their phones to board rail and bus lines.
Uber says the in-app transit tickets will cost the same as existing options, and riders will be offered a variety of ticket options including three-hour, daily and monthly passes.
Uber Head of Transit David Reich highlighted the significance of this development, noting, "For the first time ever, taking Uber can mean taking public transit." Just this week, Uber integrated London's transit information into its app, and it is likely that city and others will soon have the in-app ticketing options now offered in Denver.
- In partnership with Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD), Uber is putting bus and train schedules, directions and expected fares into its app, the company announced in a blog post. Eventually, users will be able to buy RTD tickets directly through the app.
- Uber is promising to expand its transit information to more cities in collaboration with Moovit, a transit data and route planning platform, and Masabi, a ticketing and payment provider.
- "Our customers want their trips to be as seamless as possible, and a collaboration like this one allows them to plan for travel from end to end, including additional first mile and last mile options," RTD CEO and General Manager David Genova said in a statement.
The move furthers Uber’s ambitions to become more than just a ride-hailing company and instead encompass all parts of the mobility world. The company has already acquired dockless bike and scooter company Jump, it expanded a partnership with car rental service GetAround and became a strategic partner of Lime's scooter business. Now by including transit directions, Uber is positioning itself to be a one-stop app for any mobility option.
Notably, the announcement comes just weeks after Uber called on the European Commission to step up its transit investments, and follows Uber’s $10 million investment in a Global Fund for Sustainable Mobility to gather ideas on the future of mobility. Uber is also extending its reach ahead of its expected IPO early this year.
Competitor Lyft started adding transit information to its app in 2018, following years of friction between public agencies and private ride-hailing services. There have also been more moves to creating unified Mobility as a Service (MaaS) apps; Bay Area Rapid Transit, for example, recently launched an end-to-end trip planner that includes driving, walking and micromobility directions.
As services look to share even more transit data through online platforms and companies like Microsoft and Google up their transit map offerings, competition will be fierce. Uber’s future offering of ticket sales — and its active courting of new transit partners — could give it a leg up in the MaaS app race.