Uber announces Transit integration in the US


Uber announced yesterday that they’ve integrated with the Transit app on Android in nearly 50 U.S. cities.

Montreal-based Transit, the largest public transportation app in North America, was founded in 2012 and was part of the Summer 2013 FounderFuel cohort. Their app uses more real-time data than anyone else, including Google Maps and Apple Maps. Rather than requiring users to enter a destination to find departure times, Transit displays nearby arrival and departure times automatically.

“It’s a very natural fit. There’s a very large portion of Uber trips that end at subway or train stations. So the idea was to make the transition more seamless in that, when you take an Uber to a train station, instead of closing the Uber app and then opening up the Transit app, you can easily see departure times right away,” Sam Vermette, co-founder and CEO of Transit told MTLinTECH.

“Starting today, when riders are in an Uber and their destination is or a block away from a transit stop, we’ll begin showing them upcoming departure times in the Uber feed. We’ll refresh these times regularly so riders have the latest information right at their fingertips. And if they want to learn more, one tap will take them to the Transit app for a-to-b directions, service disruption information, and more,” wrote Uber in a blog post released yesterday.

While the integration is not yet available in Canada, Transit is continuing to work on improvements so it will be even better when it becomes available in Montreal.

“Something we’ve been hard at work on is improving the synchronicity of the app in general,” said Vermette. “In markets where there is real time data (which is not the case in Montreal), but even in markets where there’s no real time data, departure times are not necessarily accurate, even when there is GPS on board. So I think one thing we’re really trying to solve now is to make the data more accurate so that you can trust the app more. The other thing is making sure that all the other mobility startups, such as Bixi and Uber, are accessible and it’s easy to sign up for them. We have a very large portion of Transit users who use our app for public transit, and they might have heard about Bixi, for example, but have never signed up for it or given it a try. And so this is another key area that we are working on today.”

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