Uber looking to integrate London bus and Tube data into its app after Dara’s visit with on-side Mike!
Uber has spoken with London’s transport authority about "deepening" their relationship, as the ride-hailing app seeks to strike partnerships with public transportation providers
This from the FT:
Uber has spoken with London’s transport authority about "deepening" their relationship, as the ride-hailing app seeks to strike partnerships with public transportation providers.
The company is attempting to integrate Transport for London’s data about bus and Tube timetables into its app, according to people familiar with the matter, in a move that would put it into direct competition with venture capital-backed start-up Citymapper.
Although TfL has a publicly available interface for accessing the data, Uber is seeking to build services on top of that, such as live updates. Three people said Uber had a long-term ambition to build a full journey planner and accept payments on behalf of public transport authorities such as TfL.
TfL said it was "not actively doing anything to help" Uber integrate data.
A spokesperson added: "We’re not in discussions with Uber or anyone else about taking payments for our services through their apps, and not looking to do so in the future."
Uber declined to comment.
TfL has tried to incorporate new mobility services, such as bike-sharing and ride-hailing, into London’s transport system. But it has been wary about integrating with private companies in any move that could lead to greater competition for public transport.
Uber has had a fraught relationship with TfL in the past after facing a public battle over its licence to operate in London. The licence was revoked after TfL found Uber was not a "fit and proper" operator, but the company won it back after announcing a series of concessions to the regulator.
Since its victory in court this summer, Uber has retrained its sights on London as a test bed for its new vision to build a marketplace for bikes, scooters and other forms of transport. Uber is expected to launch electric bikes in the capital by early 2020.
Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s chief executive, has suggested public transport is the company’s next frontier in passenger transport. Uber has already run trials to integrate its app with public transport information in San Francisco through the Bay Area Rapid Transit system and announced a partnership with Masabi, an app that provides mobile ticketing for public transport.
One senior UK-based executive said Uber’s ambition was to become an alternative to Google Maps or Apple Maps for someone planning a journey. The service would resemble one run by Citymapper, which operates in several US and European cities, including London, Berlin and Paris.
Michael Hurwitz, director of innovation at Transport for London, told the Financial Times earlier this year that TfL was ambivalent about fitting private services into a comprehensive transport app, saying: "It’s about getting our own house in order, better integrated, and when and under what commercial circumstances you might open that out."