Uber Wants To Include TfL Bus And Tube Data In Its App

By Holly Brockwell on at

Somewhat surprisingly, Uber has been talking to Transport for London about adding bus and tube timetables to its ride-hailing app.

The two organisations are historically frenemies, bickering over taxi rights and suchlike, but it seems Uber wants to bury the hatchet.

It's very unlikely to be for altruistic reasons, though: it's more likely because Uber wants to assert its dominance over Citymapper. The free navigation app is a VC-backed competitor that's started branching out into its own transport options, and presumably Uber would like to see it off before it gets too good at that.

To that end, conversations are apparently happening about whether Uber can incorporate London travel information like tube routes, bus times and so on. They could just use TfL's open API, but the FT reports that they're trying to build extra stuff like live service updates, which would require cooperation from TfL.

Uber apparently intends to go as far as taking payment on TfL's behalf, before eventually becoming an all-encompassing transport hub including share bikes and e-scooters.

TfL, meanwhile, grumpily told the FT it's "not actively doing anything to help" with Uber's plans and has no intention of allowing other apps to take payment on its behalf. It would presumably also like Uber to get off its lawn.