Uber Technologies Inc has announced the acquisition of transit software provider Routematch, marking the latest move of the ride-hailing firm toward broadening its business with public transportation agencies.
Uber, which has progressively deepened its collaboration with agencies over recent times, last month declared its first software-based transit deal with an agency in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Thursday’s acquisition permits Uber to rapidly broaden its transit agency customer base, but also combine the routing, matching, and on-demand technology both companies have worked on.
“This lets us go so much further so much faster in being able to power public transit agencies,” said David Reich, the head of Uber’s transit.
Atlanta-based Routematch was founded in 2000 and provides technology to more than 600 transit agencies for fixed-route operations, including payment processing, fleet management, route planning, tracking, and scheduling.
The company also operates transit agencies’ on-demand scheduled services for wheelchair-accessible, school, or non-emergency medical transportation.
The companies have not provided financial details on the acquisition or Routematch’s business. Routematch’s approximately 175 workers are all expected to join Uber, the company’s chief executive, Pepper Harward, stated.
Harward said Uber’s presence has challenged transit agencies during the last few years by boosting customer’s expectations for the convenience and speed of a spontaneous trip – prompting many to search for more dynamic, on-demand transportation alternatives.
While nothing is going to change quickly for Routematch’s existing transit customers, Harward and Reich said the companies were searching for ways to combine Routematch’s technology for fixed-route and paratransit services with Uber’s ride-hailing app down the line.
Uber, who has been criticized by some transit officials for siphoning off riders from public transit, sees the acquisition as an answer for the agencies it is serious about collaborating.
“We are that much more credible now that we have Routematch,” said Reich.