Uber adds planes, trains, and (rental) automobiles to its app
Uber’s eventual goal is to be a full-service transportation hub.
Uber is turning its ride-sharing app into a “super-app” for transportation, starting in the UK. Riders in the UK will be able to book tickets for buses, trains, planes, and even car rentals later this year.
In a departure from their business model to date, Uber won’t be offering the services itself. Instead, it’ll sell tickets for other transportation providers through its app.
It’s a clever move and one that could gain Uber some recurring revenue from a possible cut of each ticket. Tickets for train and bus journeys are first; with the ability to arrange rental cars or an Uber at both ends of your journey.
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Uber says that by the end of the year it will add flight booking and cross-channel train tickets into the app. That will be through Eurostar, the train operator that operates between London and Paris, via the Channel Tunnel.
“You have been able to book rides, bikes, boat services and scooters on the Uber app for a number of years, so adding trains and coaches is a natural progression,” says Jamie Heywood, Uber UK
The eventual goal is to be a full-service transportation hub, all from the Uber app. Future plans include adding hotel bookings to the app, so you can plan entire holidays all through Uber’s services.
CNBC reports that Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has wanted to add more transportation options since 2018. The pandemic slowed his plans, with a refocus on the Uber Eats side of the business.
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Why did Uber pick the UK for the pilot test? Well, after living there for nearly half my life I can tell you that it has the public transport infrastructure that Uber needs to pull this off.
Most of the country is covered by the rail network, and buses cover most of the rest. For those places not covered, there’s always an Uber.
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