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Uber Transit: Call Public Transport Using Uber

Last updated: October 13, 2021
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vector graphic showing the Uber transit service

Rideshare services like Uber have revolutionized how we move throughout our cities in the United States and worldwide.

Accessing trustworthy drivers seamlessly from a smartphone has eliminated the hassle of hailing a taxi or owning a car of your own.

Uber has become so ubiquitous that “ubering” has now become a verb to describe hiring a service to help you get where you need to go, primarily replacing the idea of hailing a taxicab.

However, Uber is extending to new services to become your go-to for any kind of transportation.

This tech company transitioned to offering electric bikes, mopeds, and scooters on-demand for commuters and tourists in major cities internationally by partnering with fellow rideshare company, Lime.

Travelers easily approach and access these vehicles via the Lime app.

This household name in rideshare offerings is now stepping into public transportation, offering new options to call and monitor public transportation using the Uber app you already know and love.

Calling public transport using Uber is the next step for ultimate transportation convenience.

What Does Transit Mean on Uber?

Uber is diversifying its service by offering a fast way to understand the public transit stops near you and delivering real-time departure and arrival information.

Using this familiar user interface in the Uber app, you now truly have all available transportation options at your fingertips.

For some communities, Uber is even supporting public transportation routes at less busy times, like the late night crowd so central to Uber’s customer base.

This mobile app company is partnering with governments around the globe to make public transit more accessible than ever.

These transportation options can include busses, trains, or subways — whatever public transportation means in your city.

For example, in Nice, France, Uber is partnering with its Régie Ligne d’Azur train service to provide connecting rides for late-night customers.

Primarily, for now, the transit service for Uber most often refers to services that are under-utilized or operate at less busy times, like late at night.

Rush hour or downtown routes have fewer Uber Transit options as this new service is installed in more and more cities globally.

What Is Uber Transit?

Uber Transit is the rideshare app’s new service to connect Uber users to all available types of transportation nearby.

vector graphic showing the Uber transit service

Uber Transit leverages the existing Uber app to access the most accurate information on local transit agencies’ bus schedules, fares, and departure times.

There is no additional fee or subscription needed to access the public transportation information Uber Transit aggregates for your benefit.

Uber Transit will also offer ways for travelers to purchase transit tickets and passes directly through the Uber app.

Is Uber Public Transport?

There is currently a debate about whether Uber and similar companies are public or private transportation.

The traditional, taxi-like Uber model is closest to the concept of private transportation, because it is a selected, small group traveling with a private driver.

However some of Uber’s products have become more similar to public transportation as the company diversifies its product.

Uber’s newest forays into electric scooters and bikes, and services partnering with public transportation like Uber Transit continues to blur this line.

How Does the Uber Transit System Work?

The Uber Transit system is built into the Uber mobile app you already use to locate a nearby driver.

Uber Transit does not usually summon transit agencies but rather gives you the most accurate, real-time information about bus schedules, fares, and other details to plan trips.

Simply open the Uber mobile app and enter your destination.

When choosing the type of vehicle, swipe up to expand your transportation options from just UberX or comfort vehicles.

Upon swiping up, you will find both public transit choices, as well as other customizations.

What Does Uber Transit Cost?

Uber Transit is a feature of the current Uber app you already use.

Therefore, this is a built-in feature you can access at your convenience for no additional cost.

You will pay fees with Uber Transit only if you purchase bus tickets through the Uber app.

Uber also has a service where you can purchase an Uber Pass for a flat fee that works across all of Uber’s services.

Uber Pass gets you unlimited use of Uber’s ridesharing and Uber Eats food delivery service for just one monthly, recurring price.

How Do You Buy Uber Bus Tickets?

Select markets have rolled out the option for Uber users to purchase their public transit tickets through the Uber app directly.

In cities like Denver, Colorado, riders can buy the city’s monthly, hourly, or day passes, which are stored in the “transit ticket” menu within the Uber app.

Uber is not selling its own bus tickets or supporting its own bus service.

Uber is partnering with existing transportation agencies to simply provide a faster way to get public transportation information near you by using an app many of users already know how to navigate.

How to Request Uber Transit

Each city that partners with Uber on public transit options decides how it wants to customize its Uber service.

Some cities limit Uber Transit to just information on existing bus or train lines, while some integrate ticket purchasing, and some even develop new services.

In some cities, Uber users can request on-demand transit services.

This means that by using the Uber mobile app, travelers can access almost door-to-door public transportation service through a small transit vehicle instead of a full-size bus or train.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Uber use transit lanes?

It depends on the type of Uber service whether the driver can use transit lanes.

If you are using the standard Uber rideshare service in a private vehicle, the driver must adhere to all the normal rules of the road.

Uber drivers may only use the transit lane for a quick right turn at rush hour.

Riders using Uber Transit are accessing transit agencies, so the bus, subway, or train will adhere to its rules of operation.

When using a scooter, bike, or moped, it is vital to understand the bike lane rules and stay alert to maintain safety within traffic.

Is Uber cheaper than public transportation?

Public transportation is often the cheapest option for traveling, as riders sacrifice privacy and flexibility when riding by bus or subway.

The average price for one person traveling via public transportation regularly over one month is between $400-$1,000 based on where you live.

Similar calculations for riders who consistently use ridesharing apps estimate monthly fees for services like Uber can cost about $1,500 each month.

This fee is for using the standard Uber option with a private driver.

When calculating your budget for transportation, remember to take into account your priorities as well.

If you are someone who is considering your budget needs first, or if you need a quiet ride so you can process your thoughts after work, it may influence your transportation choices.

Is public transport more expensive than a car?

Travelers use public transportation for many reasons, including the initial savings over owning and operating your own private car.

For some, having the funds upfront to buy a car, filling with gas, finding and paying for parking, and funding registration and insurance is cost-prohibitive.

While public transportation offers less up-front investment, over time, private car ownership can save you more money than regularly using public transit.

The average monthly car budget is about $700 monthly, while public transit can cost $1,200 a month for daily train trips.

Wrapping Up

Uber Transit is the newest rideshare innovation, connecting riders to every type of transportation quickly, efficiently, and with the most accurate information available.

Available in select markets for no additional fee, Uber Transit makes safe and reliable public transit even more accessible.

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