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Uber teams with Las Vegas bus agency to offer seamless ride service

Updated January 6, 2020 - 10:24 pm

Getting around the Las Vegas Valley via transportation services will get easier following the announcement of a deal between Uber and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada to provide a seamless transaction between the two.

Riders can now buy RTC bus passes through the Uber app, allowing them to purchase both ride-hailing pickups from Uber and continue on with mass transit on RTC buses, Uber announced Monday.

The program will be rolled out in a staggered fashion over the next few weeks until all Uber app users in Southern Nevada are able to book both ride services on one app, the company said.

“For the first time in Las Vegas, taking an Uber can mean taking public transit, and just in time for CES,” said David Reich, Uber’s head of transit. “We are excited to expand our collaboration with RTC and Masabi (a fare payment platform) to make Las Vegas the second city in the world where riders can purchase transit passes and ride public transit seamlessly through the Uber app. As we work together to make Uber part of the public transportation ecosystem we can make cities more accessible and work to make individual car ownership a thing of the past.”

Buying a transit pass in the Uber app is intended to be a simple process. After riders enter a destination, they will see “Transit” as an option. Upon selecting transit, riders will get the information needed to get to their destination using public transportation including real-time transit data, trip-planning assistance and step-by-step directions.

After selecting a route, riders can purchase bus passes using their existing Uber payment profile, and can use their transit passes when they are offline.

“Creating a seamless experience for our residents and visitors to move easily and conveniently among multiple modes of transportation is the future of public transit, and we’re proud to be one of the first agencies to embrace it,” said M.J. Maynard, CEO of RTC. “Uber’s innovative thought leadership has completely transformed the transportation landscape by upending our traditional notions of public transit.”

Uber’s app allows users to purchase a range of passes available on RTC services, including Strip and All Access passes, hourly, residential and monthly passes.

Users activate passes, which are then stored in the “Transit tickets” section of the Uber app. They can then scan the passes using onboard validation devices upon boarding transit vehicles.

A similar program launched in May with Uber Transit ticketing in Denver. Transit ticketing there continues to grow rapidly, with more than 60 percent of local riders who have purchased a transit pass returning to purchase another within a month. Uber Transit trip planning is available in 15 cities globally and allows riders to plan their transit trips with real-time information and end-to-end directions.

Purchasing transit passes via Uber will cost the same price as through existing options. Transit ticketing is possible using Masabi’s Justride SDK, the first mobile ticketing software development kit for public transportation.

“This launch is a huge step forward in helping people living and visiting Las Vegas to leave their cars at home and ride public transit,” said Brian Zanghi, CEO at Masabi. “By enabling access to public transit via Masabi’s Justride SDK in the Uber application, we are assisting innovative agencies like RTC of Southern Nevada in connecting transit with private mobility options.”

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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