Thursday, March 30

Uber is tired of being a “taxis” application: it wants to be multimodal and focused on travel

We may soon have a new application that allows us to buy plane or train tickets, hire a rental car or request a VTC, reserve a hotel room and much more under the same account. At least this is the idea of ​​Uber, that working to become a travel “super app”according to CNBC.

This change in the company’s strategy is not new. It had been announced in 2018, but the pandemic forced it to be postponed. However, now that the number of trips is approaching pre-COVID-19 levels, Uber has decided to restart its plans with a pilot test in the United Kingdom that, if successful, could expand to other countries.

Uber, as a single booking application

The Uber application for the United Kingdom currently allows, in addition to requesting a VTC, to book trips, bicycles, boat trips and scooters. The next step, according to the company, will be to add the ability to buy train and bus tickets this very summer. Flight bookings will come later this year and hotel bookings next year.

With this service, the company hopes to further boost its classic car driver network transportation. The statistics, precisely, allow us to better understand this movement. Before the pandemic, approximately 15% of Uber trips were made to airports, so it seeks to obtain benefits from the reactivation of this industry.

What does VTC mean and what are the differences with taxis

Of course, it will not be Uber who offers the services directly. The company will partner with several existing travel booking players, but has not yet revealed which ones. In any case, these new services promise, will be integrated into the software of the new “super application”which will allow us users to manage our trips directly from there.

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Order taxis from the Uber application?

Uber app 1

In addition to piloting the “super app” in the UK, Uber is reportedly considering other changes to its service. According to Engadget, the company has signed an agreement with two San Francisco transportation applications to include trips with taxis (they assure that there will be 14,000 taxi drivers available) in their offer, something that we recently saw happen in New York.

But Uber taxis are not something completely new in Spain. In Madrid, for example, since 2019 when we ask for an UberX, a taxi or a VTC can come to pick us up, whose rate is usually cheaper in the latter case. Although we must also remember that in the past we have experienced days of strike due to the confrontation between taxi drivers and VTC.

Will we have a supercharged Uber app in the future that allows us to choose multiple alternatives? For now we know that the company is moving towards intermodal transport. If their UK experiment goes well, they could roll out these novelties to other countries. For now, it only remains to wait and keep an eye on how this industry evolves.

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Images | Uber | unsplash

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