Love it or hate it, Denver is turning to Uber to make navigating public transit a little smoother for anyone with a smartphone.
Uber on Thursday announced that its users in Denver can book and redeem public transit tickets directly through its own app via Uber Transit, which officially launched earlier this year and allows residents of the Colorado city to view real-time public transit routes, including departures and travel times. This week’s announcement effectively seals the deal on Uber’s goal of becoming what the company’s Head of Transit David Reich has repeatedly described as a “one-stop shop for transportation.”
“For the first time ever, taking an Uber trip can mean taking public transit,” Reich said in a statement this week. “We are excited to expand our collaboration with [the Regional Transportation District] and Masabi to make Denver the first city in the world where riders can purchase transit tickets and ride public transit seamlessly through the Uber app.”
The move—part of a partnership between Uber and mobile ticketing company Masabi that began last year—will allow users to purchase RTD tickets for both the bus and train through Uber’s app at the same price as they would elsewhere, the company said in a news release. The launch will see a staggered rollout over the coming weeks.
In order to access the feature, any user in the Denver region can opt for “Transit” when selecting a mode for reaching their destination. From there, they’ll be able to access various public transit options and purchase tickets—including three-hour, day, and monthly passes—that remain accessible even when a user is offline.
The RTD did not immediately return a request for comment about its decision to partner with Uber on the project. However Dave Genova, CEO and general manager of RTD, said in a statement that the collaboration with Uber “broadens our reach and stays at pace with the public’s needs, allowing people to plan and pay for trips from start to finish.” To that end, it does make sense that the RTD would turn to the private sector, and Uber leads in this arena.
Uber did not answer Gizmodo’s questions about wider applications in other cities. But being that Uber’s plan appears to be making its name synonymous with travel in much the way that Google is with browsing, it’s not unreasonable to assume we’ll see this application in other regions down the line.