Uber has unveiled new services in the public transport, car hire and shared electric bikes sectors, in a bid to establish a leadership position in future modes of transport.
At a visit to a new Uber site in Washington on 11 April, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi unveiled a plan to diversify the company’s services, gain more popularity among city-dwellers and establish a leadership position in the sector of new modes of transport. "Increasingly Uber will no longer just be about booking a car but about getting from point A to point B by the best means (of transport) possible," he said to Agence France Presse.
Among the new services that Uber is planning for the future, users will be able to choose electric bikes provided by start-up Jump Bikes, which Uber acquired at the beginning of this month. The first shared bike stations should be soon be appearing in Washington and San Francisco.
Car hire service among private owners
Uber will also be offering a car hire service among private owners, in conjunction with Getaround, a ride and car-sharing company, called "Uber Rent" from the end of the month onwards, initially in San Francisco before being extended to other cities.
The Uber application can therefore be used "if you need a car and want to drive yourself, or if you only need a car for an hour, or a day or whatever", Khosrowshahi added.
Uber attacking the public transport sector
After recent setbacks and the resignation of founder Travis Kalachnick, the US firm is attempting to get its positive image back and is hoping to make strides into the public transport sector, most notably by enabling its clients to pay for their train and bus journeys directly via the Uber app.
The technology for this is coming via a partnership with London-based start-up Masabi which specialises in electronic ticketing and who themselves collaborate with various public transport authorities in Boston, New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles as well as in Europe.
All of these various initiatives are designed to achieve strategic diversification, at a time when most major cities are looking to impose limits on the use of private vehicles. "Having a wide variety of means of transport available to you makes it easier to live without a car", Khosrowshahi continued, "which is why we want to provide alternatives to private cars by offering several means of transport via our application". Uber is particularly keen to attract Millennials who are the main consumers in the shared economy. The costs of these various different innovative services have yet to be made public.
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