Uber launched a public transport payment option on its app in the US – and it could be coming to Australia in the future

Uber doesn’t have any immediate plans to bring its ‘Uber Transit’ app to ANZ. (Photo by John Milner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
  • Uber expanded its Uber Transit ticketing option to Las Vegas this week, which lets users buy bus tickets through the Uber app.
  • While Uber doesn’t have any immediate plans to launch ticketing in Australia and New Zealand, it is pushing to bring the option down here in the future.
  • An Uber spokesperson told Business Insider Australia in an email, “We’re committed to continuing to work hard to push for added functionality and deployment of Uber Transit in our region in the near future.”
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Uber is making a big push into public transport.

The ridesharing platform launched Uber Transit ticketing this week in Las Vegas, an option that lets riders buy bus tickets through the Uber app.

But while Uber doesn’t have any immediate plans to bring the app to Australia and New Zealand, it could be coming down here later down the track.

Uber first launched the ticketing option in Denver in 2019 and has now expanded it to Las Vegas. An Uber spokesperson told Business Insider Australia in an email that it was launched in time for CES – a massive tradeshow in Las Vegas for consumer technology.

“We launched Uber Transit ticketing in time for CES because this is a core part of our vision for the future of Uber and the future of transportation,” the spokesperson said. “CES has been known as the global stage for innovation; we believe that integrating Uber’s technology to help transform public transportation systems is innovation that will help cities evolve by reducing individual car ownership and expanding transportation access.”

But Uber could be bringing this new option to Australia in the future.

“As an operating system for everyday life Uber wants to deepen our connection with cities to provide Australians with the ability to seamlessly ride on the many available forms of public transit – ferries, trains, trams and buses – that connect users to the people, places and moments that matter,” the Uber spokesperson added.

“We’re committed to continuing to work hard to push for added functionality and deployment of Uber Transit in our region in the near future.”

Uber Transit in Sydney

While Australia doesn’t have the bus ticketing option, there is a transit planning option available through the Uber app.

Sydney is one of 15 cities globally that has the feature, which displays real time information for the buses, trains, ferries and light rail.

“Public Transport and Uber can be a powerful combination,” Kate Stannett, Head of Cities for Uber Australia and New Zealand said in a statement back in July. “We intend to keep pioneering this type of integration so that people can get safe, reliable, convenient rides without the need to rely on a private car.”

In December, Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) said it will be trialling digital Opal cards in 2020 which could eventually pay for both public and private transport options like Uber.

In December, NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance said in a statement the digital Opal card will let people pay for all modes of transport including buses, taxis and even Uber “with a single tap of their phone.”

The card is part of Constance’s long term vision to have a subscription-style service where you pay one fee a week (or month) to get unlimited access to all types of transport.

“In the not too distant future, I envisage a subscription style transport service where people use their Digital Opal cards to pay for a subscription service for transport – like Netflix,” Constance said at the time.

A TfNSW spokesperson told Business Insider Australia in an email at the time, “We continue to hold confidential discussions with Uber and other rideshare providers on opportunities to integrate into our new digital products.”

We’ll just have to see what the future holds for public transport and Uber in Australia.

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