Uber Upping Public Transportation With New App

Uber has formed a partnership with transportation company TransLoc. The partnership marks a significant advancement in Uber’s efforts to align itself with public transit services.

TransLoc is best known for building products for public transit companies. The company will integrate Uber into the TransLoc Rider app, which offers real-time bus tracking and route planning.

By integrating Uber into the app, passengers will be able to plan their trips using both public transportation and Uber. The idea is that riders will be able to use Uber to get to their needed transit stop and possibly to their ultimate destinations.

President and CEO of the American Public Transportation Association Michael Melaniphy said of the deal, “Such partnerships will enhance the attractiveness of public transportation.”

Uber, along with its competitor Lyft, have been working hard to find allies in the public transportation industry. The ride-requesting companies recognize that public transportation is cheaper than their services. In order to make Uber a viable cheaper alternative to car ownership, public transportation must be incorporated into their offerings.

According to a transportation study, completing 85% of trips on public transit services and 15% on Uber is about equal to the cost of maintaining a personal vehicle.

Both Uber and Lyft have been making progress in joining forces with public transit companies. Uber has already formed partnerships with public transit services in Dallas, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Minneapolis. Lyft is also working with the service in Dallas, and the company has recently launched its “Friends with Transit” campaign to further push the concept.

According to the director of transportation policy at Lyft Emily Castor, the company is currently in discussions with multiple transportation agencies about forming partnerships. Most notably, Lyft is talking with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in hopes of forming a paratransit service.

However, both Uber and Lyft have received criticism for not providing their data to cities and for not offering transportation companies with critical information that would assist officials in gauging the impact on transportation from their services.

The integration between TransLoc and Uber is set to debut as a pilot program in February. The service will be tested in Memphis, TN and Raleigh-Durham, NC.

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