The NSW Government is currently in talks with Uber to provide subsidised rides between the homes and public transport hubs of Sydneysiders.
The partnership aims to “fill the gaps” between existing public transport and suburbs that fall outside of it, providing heavily discounted fares to-and-from stations.
A spokesperson for the ridesharing company says the talks are “probably the most positive signs we’ve seen across Australia”.
“We’re keen to talk about these partnership opportunities in each state, to be frank, and they are the most progressed in NSW,” they said.
Andrew Salzberg, Uber’s global head of transport policy says this approach is actually more cost effective than implementing and maintaining new public transport services, or building car parks at existing stations that you’d probably never get a spot at anyway.
“Because we’re already on the ground there’s not an enormous up front cost to get it running,” he said. According to a submission to the NSW Commuter Car Parking Inquiry, 60 percent of Uber trips in Australia began in “public transport deserts”.
Uber also reckons integrating the Opal system into their service is a bloody great idea.
A Canadian town is currently trialling subsidised Uber rides for 6 months instead of funding a public bus service. “They partnered with us, to use the fact that we already had Uber in place, and provide discounted rides to citizens in the city, but a deeper discount to and from rail stations,” said Mr Salzberg.