It’s one of the reasons why Uber was founded in the first place, so that you could push a button and get a ride from A to B. Over time we realised that this could have the added benefit of helping people shift away from private car ownership, and so help reduce the congestion, pollution and wasted space on parking in our cities.
And we are encouraged by the growing body of evidence which suggests that this is happening in practice. In recent poll of 10 major European cities, more than two thirds of respondents saw app-based ridesharing services like Uber as an alternative to owning a car.
But we know that Uber is just one part of the solution. Public transportation will always be the backbone of cities — the only way to move thousands of people at a time — and policymakers are rightly also focussed on encouraging active modes of travel. Ridesharing and other mobility services — from bike sharing to car sharing to public transport — must work together to usher in fundamental changes to urban mobility in our cities.
Through research, data-analysis, and mapping, we’ve already discovered how Uber can serve as an important complement to traditional transit services in many of our cities. For example, in Brussels, London and Paris about 30% of Uber’s trips start or end within 200 meters of the tube or metro stations. By picking up where public transportation drops off, Uber is helping give people the benefits of car ownership without the hassle or expense.
This change will truly come when citizens are able to seamlessly combine different modes of travel — what transportation planners call multi-modal trips (for example cycling to the station, then taking a train, followed by an Uber to the final destination). The reality is that encouraging people to give up their cars and take multi-modal journeys is still difficult in practice. You need to think about different timetables, different tickets, different payment systems and so on.
That’s why Uber is excited to join the MaaS Alliance and become a Member of its Board of Directors to help solve some of these problems.
By Marius Macku, Uber
Read the rest of this blog on the Uber page of the Medium blogsite here.