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Uber to start showing public transit options for NYC users

November 8, 2019 Alex Williamson
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Uber is rolling out a new feature that will display public transit options for users in the New York City area. The app will integrate MTA and NJ Transit data to give directions for taking subways, buses, LIRR, Metro-North, NJ Transit and New York City ferries, alongside the standard choice to order a private car.

The move is part of the rideshare company’s push to become a transportation “one-stop shop,” positioning Uber as a competitor for navigation apps like Waze, Citymapper or Google Maps. Rather than searching public transit routes on one app and weighing that information against the price of hailing an Uber on the other, travelers will be able to see it all in one place.

Photos courtesy of Uber

Uber’s Head of Transit David Reich lauded the change as a win for public transit.

“We know that Uber and the cities in which we operate share many of the same goals: reducing congestion, expanding access to transportation and tackling air pollution. We look forward to partnering with the MTA and DOT to achieve those goals,” Reich said in a statement.

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But it’s unclear if the change will boost MTA’s declining ridership, which has been attributed to Uber’s rise, or tempt more travelers into backseats instead.

Some riders may opt to take the train when presented with that choice alongside a pricier rideshare. On the other hand, and as Uber is probably betting, if more travelers are using the app to plan trips, they may consider ordering a car when they otherwise wouldn’t.

Similar features are already live in Denver and London. Uber users in the New York City area could see the change as early as this week.

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