Public transport partner TransLoc has been in the public transportation technology business for some time. Their app, TransLoc Rider, allows riders in participating markets to plan their trip and get real-time information on buses, trolleys and metros headed their way. TransLoc has announced a deal with Uber that involves integration into the TransLoc Rider app. Essentially, the app will show riders a trip that can consist of walking, public transport and Uber. TransLoc believes this will help to make public transport a more viable option for a wider variety of riders. According to them, public transport options lose a decent number of would-be riders simply because the nearest bus or train stop to a potential rider's home or destination ends up being too far to walk.
Uber, already finding friends in the public transport options around Dallas, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Minneapolis, is looking to use this move to break into the market in a big way. The idea here is to paint Uber less as a 'one-stop transport option' and have it used in conjunction with public transport in the most convenient, cost-effective way possible. Uber and Lyft both claim their services can be cheaper than private ownership of a vehicle, but a study from FiveThirtyEight showed that this isn't achievable using Uber alone; if a rider uses Uber 15 percent of the time and public transit 85 percent of the time, the total price dips closer to a realistic number for car ownership. With the self-driving revolution on its way, being "cheaper than a car" is going to be a sticking point going forward for transport industry participants of all sorts in both public and private sectors.
Strangely, despite wanting to shack up with public transport, Uber and Lyft have both fallen under fire for failing to open up their services' data for public officials. This move would allow them to better assess the companies' roles in the transport framework of a given area, as well as helping to improve that framework. Despite this, both companies continue their pushes with fairly good results. TransLoc Rider integration with Uber is expected to roll out on a pilot basis in Memphis and the Raleigh-Durham area in February, with a wider roll out to be announced if the pilot is successful.