D.C. Metro and Uber Partnership Seeks a Win-Win
"Metro is entering its first partnership with Uber, allowing the ride-sharing service to use kiss & ride and taxi zones at more than 40 Metrorail stations," reports Martin Di Caro.
"For Metro, which is suffering a severe, year over year ridership drop, it could help regain customers by providing a first-mile/last-mile connection to its rail stations," explains Di Caro. "For Uber, it could enhance efforts already underway to build its customer base. To promote its uberPOOL platform, the ride service has been heavily subsidizing the fares paid to drivers during rail service disruptions for SafeTrack, Metro’s year-long reconstruction program."
There's both a cynical take and an optimistic take that one could take in response to this news. One is that Uber is taking advantage of a struggling public resource to make gains in its quest for market dominance. The other is that this partnership is merely a step in that direction of a harmonious balance between mobile-app-enabled, automated personal transportation and large-scale, frequent public transit.