Uber is rumored to be in talks with Australia’s New South Wales government to subsidize trips for its residents between their homes and public transport hubs, reports The Guardian.
An Uber spokesman said the plans for a partnership to “fill the gaps” in areas with limited public transport were “probably the most positive signs we’ve seen across Australia”.
“We’re keen to talk about these partnership opportunities in each state, to be frank, and they are the most progressed in NSW,” the spokesman said.
Uber’s global head of transport policy and research, Andrew Salzberg, said the company provided governments with a more cost-effective alternative to delivering and maintaining public transport services or building station car parks.
“Because we’re already on the ground there’s not an enormous upfront cost to get it running,” Salzberg said in Sydney.
The Uber submission to the NSW commuter car parking inquiry said 60% of trips in Australia using the company’s app began in “public transport deserts”.
The company also suggested the government consider integrating Uber services into Sydney’s Opal card payment platform.
This sort of partnership with ride-hailing companies and community transit companies is beginning to be more common. In May, Innisfil, a town of approximately 36,000 north of Toronto, Canada, launched a similar ride sharing-transit partnership with Uber, in order to fill the gap in the town’s public transportation needs.