Over the past year, there’s been a slew of partnerships between public transportation authorities and companies like Uber and Lyft. These are often touted as a win-win for both parties, since on the surface, they seem to make a lot of sense. Uber and Lyft get more riders and public transportation authorities save money and connect more riders to transit hubs solving the vaunted first-last mile problem.

Over the past few months, I’ve spent time tracking all of these partnerships, talking to some of the stakeholders and really trying to understand what these partnerships mean for all parties involved. So today, I’m going to lay out everything I’ve found.

Before we start though, the term partnerships can mean a lot of different things, so I’ve broken it down into three tiers.

  • Tier 1 partnerships involve actually monetary investments or subsidizing of rides with offers that aren’t available to the general public.
  • Tier 2 partnerships are a concerted effort that yields some type of integration (API or otherwise) and/or a custom discount code (but the discount is the same as the public facing offer).
  • Tier 3 partnerships are proposals that haven’t been finalized or potential partnerships that are in the works or still being discussed.

The public transit industry finds itself, again, facing new opportunities for community mobility and connecting riders to the people they want to see, and the places they want to go. This resource page is, right now, a collection of articles and developments in the world of public transit and transportation network companies. Stop back for more information, and to learn about NYPTA's statewide activity on creating the best possible transit options for the people of New York.

Transit agencies and transportation network companies (TNCs) generally play in different sandboxes, managing their operations without the complications of working together. But, in a growing number of cities, these service providers have found the allure of collaborating too powerful to resist. More than two dozen municipal governments and transit agencies have formed partnerships with TNCs to enhance mobility options.

Nearly all of the 29 past and present collaborations we explore in our new study, “Partners in Transit: A Review of Partnerships between Transportation Network Companies and Public Agencies,” are intended to allow transit operators and TNCs (predominately Lyft and Uber) to concentrate on what they do best. By using TNCs to fill gaps, offer first- and last-mile solutions, and provide certain demand-responsive services, transit providers can focus resources on modernizing top-performing routes, serving commuters, and other core strengths.


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