If you are in Sao Paulo, you may be able to try a new feature that Uber is testing: routes of public transportationincluding metro, train and bus. This is displayed as an option alongside UberX, Uber Together and Uber Comfort. The functionality can also be found in London, Paris, San Francisco and more cities.
The feature is called Uber Transit: when you open the app and choose a destination, there is the option of public transport along with UberX, Uber Black and others. You will be able to check the fastest route, know how to get to the bus stop or metro station, and see in real time when the bus will arrive.
Uber Transit’s arrival in São Paulo was announced in the company’s official profile on twitter, but the advisory tells the Tecnoblog that “the official launch has not yet happened, what may be happening are initial tests”.
The public transport routes were initially released in Denver (USA) in January, provided by Moovit, and have since expanded to London, Sydney, Chicago, Paris, Mexico City and San Francisco. Uber promises to launch Transit in seven more cities in the coming months, including Washington DC, New York and São Paulo – in them, the feature is still being tested.
Uber wants to be “your everyday operating system”
But why would Uber suggest that you take a bus, if it doesn’t make money from it? It is because, by complementing public transport, it can profit in other ways: taking more users to subway stations, for example, or entering into partnerships with city governments to grant subsidized trips.
In Denver, since the app started showing public transportation routes, Uber saw an 11.6% increase on trips that start or end at a station. Since May, the app also sells train and bus tickets in the city: the company does not earn a commission on the fare, but increases the chance of convincing users to call a car or request delivery.
In fact, it is worth remembering that Uber is preparing a new application that brings together car trips and Eats deliveries: “we want to make Uber the operating system of your day to day”, said CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in September.