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February 19, 2018  |  permalink

Wired UK: “Could Uber run the London bus network? It’s complicated”

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Wired UK’s Nicole Kobie skeptically considers whether Uber is sincere in its desire to move beyond cars into public transport. “I want to run the bus systems for a city,” says new-ish CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. “I want you to be able to take an Uber and get into the subway… and get out and have an Uber waiting for you.”

Needless to say, I take a dim view of this kind of talk, and Kobie was kind enough to ask me for my thoughts:

Those without transport will welcome anyone who offers them a bus, regardless of whether it’s run by government, a tech firm or a community project, but Uber and its rivals may well prove an existential threat to public transport, says Greg Lindsay, Senior Fellow for mobility at the NewCities think tank. “Uber and other TNCs [transportation network companies] — the others are no more virtuous — have always been about disrupting public transport, about privatising the pieces of public transport that they found profitable and leaving the rest to wither,” he says.

There’s more.

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Greg Lindsay is a journalist, urbanist, futurist, and speaker. He is a senior fellow at NewCities and the director of strategy of its offshoot LA CoMotion — an annual urban mobility festival in the Arts District of Los Angeles. He is also a non-resident senior fellow of The Atlantic Council’s Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative, a visiting scholar at New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management, a contributing writer for Fast Company and co-author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next.

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