Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO of Uber, has for several years outlined the ambition to build “the Amazon of transportation”. This week, the company took a decisive step in that direction, announcing that the application will now allow the purchase of plane, train and bus tickets. The service starts in the UK and, if it goes well, will be extended to other countries.
The strategy of creating a “super app”, launched in 2018, was held back by the pandemic, but is now gaining traction. The company announced on Wednesday that it will add to its application the purchase of plane, train and bus travel, as well as car rental.
“Customers have been able to book trips by car, bicycles, boat services and scooters on the Uber app for several years. Adding trains and buses is a natural progression,” says Jamie Heywood, the company’s UK CEO, in a statement quoted by CNBC.
“By the end of the year, we plan to incorporate flights and, in the future, hotels, integrating leading partners to create a seamless door-to-door travel experience.” One of the examples is the Eurostar, the train that connects London to some European cities through the Channel Tunnel.
The announcement marks Uber's strategic move to integrate third-party services instead of just its own offering. For this, the San Francisco company will integrate the link with the partners in its software. You will then charge a commission for sales.
It's not the first time Uber has done this. In the US, in 2019 it partnered with HeliFlite to launch Uber Copter, offering helicopter connections between Manhattan and JFK Airport. In March, it started to integrate New York City taxis into the app. In the UK, it teamed up with Thames Clippers in 2020 to offer boat trips on the Thames.