Over the past few months, Uber has been rapidly shedding cash-burning business units, like Elevate and self-driving cars. It’s part of a larger trend of consolidation since CEO Dara Khosrowshahi took over. However, one less-flashy segment has been booming: Uber Transit. In this episode, I’ll talk with David Zipper on Uber Transit, how it fits into the Uber picture, and a new report from the Uber Transit team.
Also, take a look at the Smarter Cars podcast! Michele Kyrouz releases her podcast in seasons, giving her audience something to look forward to. Her new season just premiered in January, and I really enjoyed the episode with Carl Vernesson from Voi. Find all the links to Smarter Cars below in our Show Notes.
Intro to David Zipper
- 3-time RSG podcast guest!
- David Zipper’s perspective on cities and urban mobility is rooted in his experience in city hall, venture capitalism, policy research and more
- He advises numerous startups, mayors and transit agencies
- His writing has been published in The Atlantic, Slate, Newsweek and more
- He focuses on the relationship between transit and ride hail services
Rideshare and Uber’s Transit Products
- Since rideshare came out, has shown a negative impact on transit
- A source of growing controversy among transit agencies
- 3 business products Uber Transit uses: Uber Rides for Transit, Uber Transit Software Solutions, Uber Maas Solutions
Uber Rides for Transit, Software
- Uber offers point to point trips, argues transit services can save money instead of running bus service for fewer people
- Problem with convenience – leads to induced demand
- Concern is when transit agencies think providing subsidized trips in a suburban area is better than bus service
- Makes sense for certain subsidized rides, however – paratransit, for example
Uber Maas Solutions
- Better than using a variety of city transit apps?
- First mile/last mile – it’s not working (only in limited circumstances)
- Skeptical – what do transit agencies really gain? What data will transit agencies receive?
- Some modes will never be available through the app (bikeshare, for example)
What is the Main Goal of Transit Agencies?: Future of Transit
- Biggest problem right now: getting people to take transit after COVID!
- As people return to travel, decisions may look different from pre-2020
- Encourage transit agencies to be more like Starbucks – negotiate carefully
- Not convinced this is actually happening – do they know they can negotiate?
- Thanks to David for coming on the podcast and the lively discussion
- David’s perspective is key – he’s passionate about what’s best for cities, transit but recognizes companies do offer some solutions that help
- Curious to see the MaaS solution going forward
- RSG101: David Zipper on What Data Can do for Cities and Mobility Companies
- RSG116: Will Uber’s New Driver Features Lead to Rider Discrimination?
- RSG149: Michele Kyrouz on Urbanism and New Mobility
- Smarter Cars Podcast – Episode featuring Carl Vernersson – Voi (Spotify)
- Smarter Cars Podcast on Apple Podcasts
- Find David’s work DavidZipper.com
- @DavidZipper on Twitter
- All The Programs And Features That Uber Is Currently Testing (2016)
- Can Uber Help Save Public Transit? (Bloomberg)
- Transit Horizons: Toward a New Model of Public Transportation (Uber)
- RSG050: George Grama on Building Mobile App Software for Rideshare Companies
- Uber and Lyft Worsen Congestion. Now What?