App Unveils New Feature Connecting Ride-Hailing to Transit

Transit, a Canadian startup, is bringing ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft into its app so that users can buy rides to and from public transit stations in the U.S. and around the world.

by / December 3, 2018

Transit, a Canadian app-maker that helps people plan trips, is rolling out a new feature that could bring more people to and from public transit stations. 

The new Transit+ feature in the company’s app allows users to find, plan, pay for and book ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft as part of a larger trip. So if a person needs to, for example, get from their house to a train station, they could use Transit+ to book an Uber to the station. Along the way, they can get status updates on the train they’re trying to catch.

The app already included bike-share and scooters as an option as well. And for now, the Transit+ ride-hailing feature is limited to bus and rail services in selected cities, which include more than 30 in the U.S. such as Nashville, Tenn., Boston and Las Vegas.

This was a move the company had already outlined publicly. In November, when the company announced a $17.5 million funding round, its press materials put forward a focus on multi-modal trip planning. Its investors in that round, which included car manufacturers, are interested in positioning themselves for a future full of self-driving vehicles that function much like today’s ride-hailing platforms — only, without humans behind the wheel.

The possibility of connecting ride-hailing, self-driving vehicles and other emerging transportation options to public transit has been a big piece of the mobility conversation in the last several years, since many experts see transit as a way of making urban movement more efficient and less carbon-intensive overall.

Basically, anything to get people out of their cars.

“Our mission at Transit is to make it easy to get from a to b without your own car,” said Jake Sion, Transit’s chief operating officer, in a statement. “By connecting ride-hail seamlessly with transit service, we’re promoting a vital first- and last-mile link to reduce congestion, rather than worsen it.”