Uber Technologies Inc. customers will be able to Soon to book long-distance travel on planes, trains and buses, reflecting the company’s ambitions to become a “premium travel app”.
Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager for the UK and Northern and Eastern Europe, said in a statement that a pilot project being launched in the UK will integrate offers from travel partners into the Uber app “to create a seamless door-to-door travel experience”. .
“I’ve been able to book rides, bikes, boat services, and scooters on the Uber app for a number of years, so adding trains and coaches is a natural progression,” he said. Eventually, Uber will also provide hotel reservations.
Uber will not provide the travel service itself, but will work with third-party booking agencies to facilitate ticket sales. Although Uber hasn’t revealed which ticket platforms it will partner with, it may end up working with major aggregators such as Booking.com and Expedia Inc. , where Dara Khosrowshahi served as CEO before taking the position at Uber. The company will earn money by charging the service fee from the reservations.
The pandemic fundamentally changed Uber’s business model when it had to focus heavily on food delivery to mitigate a sharp drop in demand that hit its core ride-sharing segment. The travel pilot will significantly enhance Uber’s transportation offerings and demonstrate that the company is moving forward with Khosrowshahi’s goal of transforming the transportation giant in San Francisco.
The British pilot was first reported by the Financial Times.
Train and bus reservations will be available on the app this summer, with flight and hotel reservations launching later in the year.
Uber recently obtained permission to operate in London for another 30 months after meeting drivers’ rights requirements. The decision gives Uber more stability in the UK, one of its largest markets, after years of wrangling with regulators over the classification of workers.