Uber moves to integrate public transportation, a crucial step toward multimodality

February 27, 2019 | Case Study

The rapid rise of ride-hailing services lowered costs and increased convenience for on-demand transport, and its growth led to soaring valuations of nearly $100 billion for Uber and Didi Chuxing. Although convenient for users, it can cause headaches for governments, specifically urban planners or transportation departments aiming to increase utilization of public transport. Evidence of this can be seen in Denver, where the Regional Transportation District's (RTD's) operating budget increased from $466.7 million in 2015 to $626.1 million in 2017 despite ridership falling from 103.3 million annual rides to 100.9 million annual rides. In a seemingly counterintuitive move, RTD is now working with Uber to integrate its modes of public transportation into the Uber app, first providing navigation and cost information and aiming to integrate ticketing and payments shortly.