Transit & TNCs
Uber launches new public transit feature in 3 Michigan cities
GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- The ride-sharing app Uber noticed many of its users are using the service in conjunction with public transportation.
In recognition of that fact, the company on Tuesday, May 16, launched a new feature for Android devices in collaboration with the mobile app Transit.
In the 47 U.S. cities in which the service was launched Tuesday, Uber will automatically recognize whenever a rider's end destination is at or near a public transit stop and display upcoming departure times.
Transit Startup Bridj Shuts Down, Cites Collapse of 'Major Car Company' Deal
Bridj, a data-driven, venture-backed bus startup based in Boston, said Sunday it's winding down operations after a deal with a "major car company" fell through.
"Today, our incredible journey unexpectedly ends," said CEO Matt George in a post on Medium on Sunday evening. "After three years and millions of passenger miles as the largest operation of our kind in the country, Bridj is winding down."
Bridj said it's shutting down for good.
The company, which operated in Boston, Kansas City, Washington, D.C. and Austin, Texas and describes itself as a "pop-up" urban transportation system, officially shut down last Friday. The company had been in talks with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to offer late-night service to passengers.
George said in the post that Bridj had been pursuing "a deal with a major car company who promised a close date for a sizable transaction in lieu of a traditional venture capital funding round. The close date timeline extended from weeks to months, as they sought to gain the appropriate internal approvals that we (and they) thought were already in place."
But that deal ultimately failed, he said.
"And with that, we say goodbye," George continued. "We say goodbye to you, our 50 exceptional team members, our customers, and our partners all over the world. We also say goodbye to the promise of what could have been."
In an email to the Business Journal, George declined to disclose the name of the car company with which it was in talks. Bridj had teamed up with Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), however, in its expansion into Kansas City.
The company had raised about $10 million in investor funding from investors including FKA Atlas (now known as Accomplice), NextView Ventures and Suffolk Equity.
Innisfil, population 32,727 as of 2014, concluded in a March council meeting that subsidizing the car-hailing service was a better deal than paying for a bus line. The city plans to pay 100,000 Canadian dollars (about $75,000) for a first stage of the program and CA$125,000 for a second round about 6 to 9 months in. That compares to CA$270,000 annually for one bus and CA$610,000 for two, the town said. The town evaluated on-demand transit proposals as an alternative to buses. "Uber emerged as the only company with an app-based platform (i.e. UberPool) that would facilitate ridesharing and the matching of two or more passengers on trips across the entire town," the town said in its explanation of the move. Innisfil will subsidize Uber trips so citizens pay between CA$3 and CA$5 themselves, depending on the destination, the town said. "You can't have taxpayers pay for a transit system which they cannot use," Innisfil Mayor Gord Wauchope told The Toronto Star. "And this was a transit system that people can get from anywhere in the town of Innisfil, and use it for a reasonable price."