Uber has announced the acquisition of transit software company, Routematch. The move is geared towards expanding the ride-hailing firm’s into public transport.
The firm has over time been collaborating with public transportation agencies and recently announced its first transit deal with a transportation agency in San Fransisco.
Uber had been looking to enter the SaaS space, and acquiring Routematch is one more step towards this goal. “Uber knows that for cities to thrive, public transit has to thrive,” Uber’s head of transit, David Reich, said in an interview.
This acquisition will enable Uber to expand its transit agency customer base. It will also greatly benefit from Routematch’s routing, matching and on-demand technology.
Reich said, “This lets us go so much further so much faster in being able to power public transit agencies.”
As of the time of the acquisition, Routematch, which was founded in 2000, provides software services for 550 transit agencies in America and Australia. The software they build manage: fixed-route operations, including payment processing, fleet management, route planning, tracking and scheduling.
Routematch also caters to the disabled; it operates on-demand scheduled services for wheelchair-accessible or non-emergency medical transportation on behalf of the transit agencies.
All 175 of Routematch’s employees will be absorbed by Uber according to Routematch CEO, Pepper Harward.
The CEO noted the threat Uber posed to transit agencies stepping up customer expectations in terms of convenience and speedy nature of an unplanned trip. Many of these customers who previously used public transit developed a palete for more dynamic, on-demand transport options.
Harward and Reich said the companies would be merging the two services down the line.
Most recently, Uber acquired food delivery company Postmates, with the plan of integrating it with its homegrown Uber Eats app.