Uber yellow cab bookings today; ‘super app’ tomorrow

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Uber yellow cab bookings – which began last month in New York – are just the start of the company’s ambitious plans to turn itself into a “super-app,” with offerings extending as far as banking and mobile wallet services …

Uber yellow cab bookings begin in two US cities

Uber recently told investors that it wants to include every taxi in the world in the app.

When we look at the next five years, we just don’t see a world in which taxis and Uber exist separately. There’s too much to gain for both sides. That’s why we’ve set a very ambitious goal to put every taxi on Uber by 2025.

It made its first move last month, striking a deal to include all New York City yellow cabs, meaning that any official NYC taxi driver who wants to accept Uber bookings can do so.

The San Francisco Chronicle (via Engadget) reports that the company has just signed similar contracts there.

Uber, whose ride-hailing service disrupted the taxi industry, is now partnering with all the taxicabs in its home turf of San Francisco, The Chronicle has learned.

Uber’s deal signed Monday with Yellow Cab SF and Flywheel Technologies means that Bay Area passengers who summon an Uber ride might see one of the city’s 1,075 taxis show up to ferry them in the coming months.

Uber plane, train, bus bookings – and much more

The Financial Times reports that Uber wants to go further than this, rebooting its pre-pandemic plans to become a one-stop shopping app for all travel needs. This means you could make Uber plane, train, and bus bookings within the app.

But the company’s longer-term ambitions extend even further, says the paper.

Having posted a $5.2bn loss last quarter and with its mainstay business coming under threat from regulatory burdens, it is looking to expand its vision even further. “We want Uber to be the operating system for your everyday life,” said chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi in September.

This month, Uber purchased Cornershop as part of a push into delivering groceries. In Mexico, it offers bank cards. In San Diego, it is testing food delivery by drone. In Chicago, it is connecting people with temporary shift work. In lower Manhattan, it offers $200 helicopter rides to JFK airport. Even snuggling-as-a-service has emerged in dozens of cities via Uber Kittens, letting users book 15-minute “play dates with adorable kittens at the tap of a button” […]

Connie Chan, a partner at venture capital group Andreessen Horowitz, said popular ride-hailing apps are in good position to become super-apps because they already have both key ingredients: a large audience of frequent users, and embedded payments. 

This could see it emulate the path taken by Indonesian company Gojek, which started as a motorcycle taxi app in 2015, and today offers a massive range of services – including such diverse fields as home maintenance, video streaming, beauty services, and massage.

Would you consider using Uber for services beyond transport and food delivery? Let us know in the comments.

Photo: Kai Pilger/Unsplash

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