February 15, 2018

Buses, bikes and planes – Uber sees its future beyond ride-hailing

Uber is planning to expand into all forms of public transportation, not just car-sharing, according to the company’s chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi.

Speaking at a conference in San Francisco, Khosrowshahi said the company is already testing bike-sharing in San Francisco.

In the past, Uber has said it plans to move beyond its roots as a ride-hailing app. Last year it said it wants to charter flying cars by 2020.

However, Khosrowshahi’s comments were slightly more down to earth. He also hinted that Uber could eventually become a marketplace for other transportation providers, the same way Amazon became a marketplace for third-party sellers.

This is the first time Khosrowshahi has outlined his long-term vision for the company. He joined Uber as chief executive in August, following the departure of the company’s co-founder Travis Kalanick.

What was said:

Uber’s Dara Khosrowshahi said:

“I want to run the bus systems for a city. I want you to be able to take an Uber and get into the subway … get out and have an Uber waiting for you.”

Why it matters:

Since Khosrowshahi began at Uber last year, he has been trying to get the company ready to go public. Demonstrating new revenue streams is a key factor in this, particularly as Uber’s results were disclosed earlier this week.

The company made a fourth-quarter loss of $1.1bn in 2017, however, this is down from $1.46bn. In addition, its quarterly revenue rose 11.8 percent to $2.2bn.

Uber disclosed the results following the settlement it made with Alphabet’s Waymo, in a trade secrets lawsuit. The settlement saw Uber offer Alphabet a $245m stake in the company.

Now it’s time for Khosrowshahi to move on from the controversy and build a different kind of Uber.


Uber launched in 2009 initially as a peer-to-peer ridesharing app, though it has since pivoted to being a transportation company with paid, licensed drivers.

When Kalanick was at the helm of Uber, he said the mission for the company was to make: “transportation as reliable as running water, everywhere for everyone.”

It’s this mission that has seen the company expand across the globe, albeit not without its issues.

Previously heralded as the most valuable startup in the world with a valuation of $70bn, Uber was recently knocked off the top spot. Its recent valuation put the company at $48bn, allowing its Chinese rival Didi Chuxing to take the lead.

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