A do-all transportation app where you can book flights, rent cars, hail a ride, or buy a bus pass sounds great. Does it still sound as great when that app is created by Uber? If your answer is no, I’m sorry to say you don’t have a choice, as NBC News reports the company is going forward with its plans to roll out an all-in-one transportation app. It’ll only be available in the United Kingdom. For now.
Make no mistake: Uber is not looking to get into transportation by offering flights or bus rides. The company just doesn’t want you to go anywhere else to book your transportation. The company has wanted to get in on the so-called “super app” game since at least 2018 when then CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said they wanted more options in the company’s app. Current CEO Jaimie Haywood says that the app will become a one-stop-shop for users in the UK:
You have 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. Later this year we plan to incorporate flights, and in the future hotels, by integrating leading partners into the Uber app to create a seamless door-to-door travel experience.
Uber will integrate other platforms into the app so users will be able to book these other forms of transportation, similar to how one can book flights or hotel rooms on apps and sites like Expedia and Priceline. Ultimately, the end game for all of this is to boost its core business, ride-hailing. Per Financial Times:
The company hopes that adding forms of transport will boost the core ride-hailing business, with customers using its driver network to move between transit hubs, as well as bring in commissions when customers book train or bus fares. Before coronavirus hit, about 15 per cent of Uber trips were made to airports, so the company hopes that integrating flight booking and ticketing will give a boost to these higher-margin rides.
Being able to book a flight and an Uber from the airport once you get to it may prove brilliant. And with its recent regulatory win in London of a 30-month license extension, Uber may end up being the do-all app many English go to to get around.