Tuesday , June 2, 2020

Uber Adds Public-Transit Payment Option in Las Vegas

After rolling out access to public transportation fare payments on its app in Denver last year, ride-hailing leader Uber Technologies Inc. has added a similar service in Las Vegas.

Fare-payment software provider Masabi Ltd. said late Monday that it along with the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) and Uber had launched Uber Transit ticketing, which enables Uber riders in the Las Vegas area to buy RTC tickets through the Uber mobile app and use their smart phone to ride.

The announcement came just as this week’s huge CES 2020 electronics and technology event was getting underway in Las Vegas. Through Uber, the RTC might get new riders from visitors previously unfamiliar with other transportation options besides ride shares and taxis.

The Uber Transit transaction flow is shown in this series of images from Masabi.

“For the first time in Las Vegas, taking an Uber can mean taking public transit and just in time for CES,” David Reich, San Francisco-based Uber’s head of transit, said in a Masabi blog post. “We are excited to expand our collaboration with RTC and Masabi to make Las Vegas the second city in the world where riders can purchase transit passes and ride public transit seamlessly through the Uber app. As we work together to make Uber part of the public transportation ecosystem we can make cities more accessible and work to make individual car ownership a thing of the past.”

Transit ticketing comes via an integration into the Uber app of London-based Masabi’s Justride software development kit.

After opening the Uber app, Las Vegas riders will see a “Transit” option. Selecting that option pulls up information the rider needs to plan a trip and buy and redeem a range of RTC passes using their existing Uber payment profile. Riders also can use their transit passes even when they are offline.

“Creating a seamless experience for our residents and visitors to move easily and conveniently among multiple modes of transportation is the future of public transit, and we’re proud to be one of the first agencies to embrace it,” M.J. Maynard, the RTC’s chief executive, said in the post. Masabi began working with the RTC in 2016 with the launch of the rideRTC app.

RTC pass prices do not cost riders extra if booked through the Uber app. Regarding revenues, an Uber spokesperson would not discuss its arrangements with Mesabi, and Masabi did not respond did not respond to a Digital Transactions News request for comment. An RTC spokesperson, however, says by email that “there is no additional cost to the RTC with this partnership” with Masabi, nor does the RTC pay fees to Uber for passes purchased through the Uber app.

Masabi also supports Uber Transit on Denver’s Regional Transportation District, where the service began full rollout in late May. Since then, Uber trips in Denver starting and/or ending at a transit station are up 11.6%, according to Masabi. RTD tickets sold via the Uber app have increased each week hitting close to 30,000 by the end of November, Masabi said.

In addition to fare payments in Denver and now Las Vegas, riders can plan and get directions for transit trips through the Uber app in 15 cities globally.

Masabi also announced that Las Vegas riders can now buy RTC passes through its multi-city Transit app. The app already has enabled riders to find routes by combining trip legs on RTC buses, the Las Vegas Monorail, and the RTC’s bike-share service, as well as Uber and its competitor Lyft Inc.

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