Uber announced Tuesday it is integrating with the Transit app in more than 50 cities across the U.S., including Seattle and Portland, as the company positions itself as a complement, rather than an alternative, to public transportation.
With this integration, when an Uber rider marks a transit stop as a final destination, a card will pop up showing departure times for various modes of transportation. Uber said the integration with Transit will be available on Android devices to begin with.
Transit is available in 135 regions, including Seattle, in 10 countries around the world. It works with a variety of modes of transportation, including public transit, car-share services like car2go and bike-share companies, to give users a clear picture of the best ways to get around.
Uber is largely known for clashing with city and state government over the legality of its operations, but it has partnered with several transit agencies to better serve people during their “first” and/or “last mile.” That’s the name of the trip one takes from his or her home to public transit, and vice versa — for example, taking an Uber ride from home to the train station in the morning, and another ride from the station to a workplace.
These kinds of partnerships fit with Uber’s goals of fewer cars on the road and a world where “every journey is shared using a combination of transit options,” according to a blog post on the partnership with Transit. Here’s more about the changes Uber, which is heavily invested in autonomous vehicle research, envisions in transportation, according to the blog post:
Better connected cities, where people can easily access all neighborhoods including areas underserved by transit.
A viable alternative to personal car ownership since people can always get a ride when and where they need one. Plus it’s often more cost efficient to use a variety of transit options rather than owning a car.
Reduced traffic and parking because public transit and carpooling can mean fewer cars on the road and less congestion.