Uber improves mobility by joining global public transport association

2017-12-05 15:30 - Kavitha Pillay
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Cape Town - In an attempt to improve mobility in the cities in which it operates, Uber announced on Monday, 4 December, that it is joining a global public transport association, the International Association of Public Transportation (UITP).

The ride-hailing app says that this move aims “to connect more people to public transport”.

According to FirstPost, Uber’s head of transportation policy and research, Andrew Salzberg, says that aligning the company with public transport authorities was a good way to make Uber a better partner for cities.

SEE: What exactly happened with the Uber hack and should users be worried going forward?

UITP represents public transport providers around the world - including Transport for London (TfL) — which in September stripped Uber of its operating license.

In addition to this, Uber has recently faced a global scandal after the disclosure of a massive data breach cover-up that prompted investigations from regulators around the world, and its request to appeal a workers’ rights decision to the UK Supreme Court was rejected, according to drivers’ union Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB).

However, Uber is currently valued at $69 billion and is testing a more collaborative approach to regulators under its new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, in a shift “from a more aggressive culture” under former CEO Travis Kalanick.

“One of the big emphases that Dara has made ... is that we want to be better partners for the cities we operate in,” Salzberg says, adding that the joining is part of the company’s effort to improve relationships with local authorities.

Salzberg says the company also wanted to help to reduce congestion on roads by encouraging people to move to shared modes of transport.

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According to Uber, it will have training sessions with UITP to connect people better at the start or end of their journeys.

Alain Flausch, Secretary General of UITP, says Uber joining the association was a sign that the company wanted to have a better relationship with regulators. “They are kind of saying to every politician: ‘We are joining the community and we want to help in the new ecosystem’,” Flausch told Reuters.

Flausch says he had told members of UITP that he would check the company stuck to its promises, and adds “It’s a work in progress and having Uber join is a good sign.”

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