It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… coming soon to your Uber app!
The ride-sharing company announced plans on Wednesday to become a “super app”, expanding beyond allowing users to flag down cars and trucks to allowing users to book trains, planes and buses on its UK market by the end of the year in a pilot (pun intended) trial.
If all goes well, the company plans to expand the service to other markets.
The vehicles will not be directly owned by Uber, but the app will instead provide third-party providers and rental services that will be integrated into the Uber app, with specific third-party partners to be announced in the coming months.
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“You’ve been able to book rides, bikes, boat services and scooters on the Uber app for several years, so adding trains and coaches is a natural progression,” Uber’s chief executive said. UK, Jamie Heywood, in a statement by CNBC. “Later this year, we plan to integrate flights, and in future hotels, by integrating premium partners into the Uber app to create a seamless door-to-door travel experience.”
Uber had been testing helicopter charters in the U.S. market in 2019, offering chauffeured rides through the app to a heliport that would take customers from Manhattan to JFK Airport at certain times Monday through Friday.
The company also announced this week that passengers in New York could book yellow cabs directly through the Uber app, offering taxi fares directly comparable to what a passenger would pay for a typical UberX ride.
Uber, whose operating license in London has been revoked twice (in 2017 and 2019), recently reclaimed a 30-month license from the European city after judging the service met all regulatory and safety standards .
“Using our collective technology, resources, and experience, we can help public transportation agencies grow their current and long-term software infrastructure for mobility management based on the evolving needs of their community,” said Uber in an article published by the company in 2021. “We are today at a crossroads where public transport desperately needs new ideas, technologies, cost structures and innovative modes of supply to make the system more financially sustainable and better for all.
Uber was down more than 6% in a 24-hour period early Wednesday afternoon.