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At a Glance
Uber, a rideshare company, will offer its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to three public transit agencies. The three companies are based in Denver, Cecil County, Maryland, and Porterville in California, USA. The deal was signed nearly a year ago.
The Denver Regional Transportation District will begin with their wheelchair-accessible vehicles this week, and it will be followed by Cecil transit and Portville transit. All these three companies will pay a fee to Uber for using its technology.
Uber said that beginning from late April, Cecil transit will use its software for “riders in recovery seeking access to employment, essential services, appointments, and recovery programs.” And from May, Porterville transit will start using Uber vehicles on their Fresno and Bakersfield route in California.
Uber’s first transit deal was made in June last year with Marin County. The residents of the county were able to book minibus rides using the Uber application. The deal allowed the county to charge a dollar per mile less for people with disabilities, while the general public was charged $4 per mile. For managing this deal, Uber earns a flat fee of $80,000.
David Reich, Uber’s Transit Head, said in a press release last year that many transit agencies were keen on collaborating with Uber to use their technology, and he said that this deal is the first step in that direction.
According to an Economic Times report, Uber, last year, acquired Routematch, a transit software provider. Uber said that this acquisition would help in reaching more customers. This will boost Uber’s business which was hit during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Also, since many people are being vaccinated in huge numbers, Uber’s mobility has increased in the US, and the company said that March was their best month in terms of business since the pandemic struck.
According to an article in The Verge, Uber, in the past, has been accused of taking away customers from transport. And in order to rebuke these criticisms, Uber has included an option in their application where they offer tickets and a schedule of local public transport.