In an effort to expand its software as a service, Uber is licensing its rideshare software to three public transit agencies. The transit agencies are in Denver, Colorado, Cecil County, Maryland, and Porterville, California. This news comes as Uber attempts a broader push into public transit, as rideshare numbers are still down across the country as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Denver Regional Transportation District plans to start using the management software this week to manage its fleet of wheelchair-accessible vehicles. Cecil Transit in Maryland and Porterville Transit in California plan to implement the software in the weeks to come. According to The Verge, Cecil Transit plans to use the software to transport “riders in recovery seeking access to employment, essential services, appointments, and recovery programs.” Porterville had previously used Transloc, but it is looking to switch to Uber for “enhanced reliability.”
The transit agencies also have the option of using a subscription service that will let them use Uber’s “matching and marketplace technology to facilitate on-demand community rides using their own transit fleet.”
These are not the first transit deals Uber has conducted, as the ride-hailing giant announced a deal with Marin County in San Francisco in July 2020. As part of that deal, the Marin Transportation Authority pays Uber a subscription fee to use its software to request, match, and track its vehicle fleet. Cape May County in New Jersey is also participating in the software service.
Some public transportation companies are accusing Uber of poaching riders from subways, trains, and buses. Declining bus and subway ridership is attributed to Uber. In response, the company has added transit directions and ticketing to its app in some cities in hopes of giving transit equal foot in its app. According to the company, the integrated public transportation schedules can directions have resulted in over two million Uber Transit rides. The company also acquired an Atlanta-based company called Routematch, which sells software to public transit agencies for data management, dispatching, trip booking, and ticketing.
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