Uber adds public transport information to London app
Uber is relaunching its London app to include public transport information, allowing users to compare journeys on other services, as well as its private hire cars.
The ride-hailing firm said the change, integrating publicly available Transport for London (TfL) live data, would allow its users to make the best choice of journey based on price and time.
Live tube and bus information will be available as well as rail, tram and river boat services across the capital.
While the new features, which will be available to users from Tuesday, are by no means unique – the likes of Citymapper and TfL itself provide similar services, among hundreds of apps using the data – the move could be seen as significant as part of Uber’s ambition to become a one-stop shop for transport and other services.
Uber has vowed to be a “better partner” in London, after a licence renewal application was turned down in September 2017. It claimed the public transport information provision was central to its “efforts to reduce private car ownership, clean up London’s air and make the city a healthier place to live”.
A surge in private hire cars, led by Uber, have been blamed in part for increased congestion. The number of licensed vehicles has roughly doubled since the US-based company started operations in the capital.
Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager, said: “Over time, it’s our goal to help people replace their car with their phone by offering a range of mobility options – whether cars, bikes or public transport – all in the Uber app.”
The app has been modified to include public transport information without input from TfL, and although TfL cited Uber’s lack of cooperation at the time of the licensing showdown, it is understood the move will have no bearing on the next renewal application. A 15-month licence was granted in June 2018 on appeal, which is due to expire this September.
A TfL spokesperson said: “Our data is open to everyone, with more than 675 mobile phone and online apps already powered by our feeds.”