Uber adding shared bikes, rental cars, public transit tickets to app in big multimodal transportation push

Uber is expanding into more modes of transportation in an effort to change how urbanites get around cities. (Photo courtesy Flickr user Eliott Brown / cc2.0)

Uber wants to be your remote control for transportation — and not just for ride-hailing — if its latest announcement is any indication.

Uber is partnering with a variety of companies to offer rental cars and shared bikes in its app, adding more options to the company’s signature on-demand rides. It is also partnering with Masabi, a public transit ticketing company, so that commuters can book rides on buses and trains using the Uber app.

It’s part of a push to make Uber a platform for transportation options. Earlier this week Uber announced a partnership with bike-share company JUMP, allowing users to rent bikes via the Uber app. Uber has been piloting the JUMP bikes in San Francisco and today announced it will expand the program to Washington, D.C.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced the changes in a blog post Wednesday titled “Moving Forward Together with Cities.”

“Since I started as CEO I’ve signaled very clearly that I am committed to being true partners to cities for the long term,” he wrote.

Khosrowshahi, the former Expedia CEO, has helped curb Uber’s traditionally brash and aggressive tone since taking over in August.

“His style of leadership and how he approaches every decision with integrity, transparency, very humble — I think that has permeated all aspects of the company,” Alejandro Chouza, Uber’s new Pacific Northwest leader, told GeekWire last week.

Uber also said today that it working on “new methods for public-private collaboration and data sharing that respect the need for rider and driver privacy as well as the competitive landscape of the industry.”

How Uber shares its data with cities has become top of mind for lawmakers. The Seattle City Council approved a resolution this week to explore a requirement for companies like Uber and Lyft for sharing data on fares, hours worked, number of drivers, and driver compensation.

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