In May, Uber launched a new experiment: selling train and bus tickets through its app to its customers in Denver, Colorado. The company announced today that it has sold more than 1,200 tickets for the city’s regional transit district, which operates Denver’s public transportation system.
Uber Transit, the company’s ticketing feature, rolled out to a small group of customers in May and was made available to 100% of Uber Denver users on June 25. The company reported an average growth of 42% per week over the distribution period.
Uber may not make money selling bus and subway tickets through its app, but as a result the business is growing. Since Uber launched its transit planning feature in January, Uber trips to Denver that start or end at a transit station have increased 11.6 percent. This helps support Uber’s claim that it will help solve the first mile/last mile challenge plaguing many cities.
Uber also said the number of ticket repurchases increased every week after tickets were released. In the week of June 24, approximately 25% of tickets sold were purchased by users who previously purchased tickets on the app.
Uber’s new transit facility is operated by Masabi, a London-based technology company that develops mobile ticketing software for public transport. This marks the first incarnation of the partnership between Uber and Masabi since the two companies signed a contract last year to integrate the latter’s mobile ticketing platform with the former’s app. Thanks to transit company Moovit, Uber drivers in Denver can see real-time information about buses and trains when they open the app in January.
Today, Uber is slowly making its first inroads into public transportation, one city at a time. So far, the company has provided real-time subway and bus schedules, time and cost comparisons, and point-to-point directions for customers in London and Boston. Most likely, ticket purchases in these cities will start later this year.