After years battling municipal authorities around the world, Uber is now planning to play nice with cities and consolidate itself in the transport industry.
According to a report from Betakit, Uber’s chief executive officer Travis Kalanick told a Launch Academy in Vancouver that it was important to focus on things “at the city level”
“For transportation, we’re looking at what kinds of cars are in supply,’’ Kalanick said.
“What can the economy support? What are the pain points for transportation? What’s the right price point? It’s so much about getting people and cars around the city as fast as possible. There are tweaks you do elsewhere.
“There are lots of ways cities can be planning better and benefitting from the kind of data. The burden is on us to see how we can partner with cities. This will be an offshoot and something I expect to see a lot more of that in 2016.”
He did not elaborate on what these new partnerships would look like. Needless to say, it would be a change for Uber because any partnership with a municipality would require it to hand over its books, something it’s been reluctant to do.
Kalanick also got stuck into the taxi industry.
“In monopolistic systems like in NYC, taxi licenses are tradeable licenses… A taxi driver has to spend $40,000 a year to be impoverished,” he said. “That’s the system you support when you support a monopolistic system like the taxi industry. It screws over choice for the consumer as well as for the driver. There’s a very narrow segment of people that would think that’s a good system.”