New South Wales government is in talks with ride-sharing giant Uber to plug gaps in public transport network for Sydneysiders. The move comes after the city has seen many ups and downs in the public transport and traffic problems. The authorities are in talks to integrate Uber ride services into Sydney’s Opal card platform. Uber, on the other hand, has proposed to offer discount fares and provide subsidized rides to people between their homes and public transport hubs. The move has been cited as to-and-from service that connects people to existing public transport system.
The proposed collaboration between Uber and the NSW government is seen as a giant step within the company. It is one of the most positive signs that the company has seen Down Under. Not only is the California cab service giant looking to tie-up with the NSW authorities, a similar move could be made in other states of Australia as well. Andrew Salzberg, the Global Chief of transport policy at Uber was all but happy for the move. According to Andrew, the partnership with local governments is not only cost-effective alternative but also a viable answer to traffic and pollution. The cost of delivering and maintaining public transport, building station car parks, carbon emissions and jams get significantly reduced.
The reason Uber will be a sure success here is that the company already has the infrastructure ready. Uber holds a significant market share in Sydney when you talk about ride sharing services. To make swift and hassle-free payments, the company suggests the local authorities integrate Uber services into Sydney’s Opal card payment platform. A similar model where Uber associated with the local government was adopted in Canada. Instead of funding a public bus service, the authorities decided to subsidize Uber rides for its residents. Since Uber already had the infrastructure in place, it was easy for the company to give deeper discounts.
Hailing the move as positive, the NSW Transport spokeswoman said that rideshare services have the potential to be a key player in Sydney public transport solution in the future. The government is looking to make public transport comfortable and affordable as well being attractive to the people of Sydney. The main target is to solve the issue of getting to-and-from train stations. Earlier this week, the government announced pilot trials of eight bus routes across Sydney that will be on-demand and run by private venture firms.