Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi launches its public transport feature in Delhi, its first for Asia

  • Uber's CEO Dara Khosrowshahi launched public transport feature in Delhi.
  • The feature was launched in partnership with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
  • It allows one to check schedules for the Delhi Metro, based on pricing as well as timing.
Uber launched its public transport feature in New Delhi today. With this, India's national capital becomes the ninth city in the world and the first in Asia, to get the feature.

Uber's CEO Dara Khosrowshahi launched the feature in partnership with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. The feature allows one to check schedules for the Delhi Metro, based on pricing as well as timing.

"In our first five cities in the world, half a million users have been using the public transport system in Uber app," said Khosrowshahi at a press conference in Delhi.

"DMRC is embracing technology and we want to commend them for that. India is a huge opportunity to make sure its cities are built for people and not for cars," he said.

In the near future, Uber also aims to have dedicated pick up spots at metro stations, charging stations for Electric Vehicles, vehicles for physically disabled, self driving cars and bikes and more.

India is a fundamental part of Uber's growth story. Profitability characteristics and business in India are improving. India's market is a gateway for the rest of the developing world, said the Uber CEO.

There were also mentions of its latest product--Uber bus.

"Uber bus service is a new product that we have launched 18 months ago. We are testing and learning to understand how the service works. As the product matures, it will be specifically marketed for cities like Delhi," said Khosrowshahi.

Partnering with Delhi Metro, Uber hopes to offer seamless travel to users. In Gurgaon, Uber Moto sees 25% of its trips starting from metro stations.

"We have discussed that 210 metro stations in Delhi, where Uber will have a designated pick up spots. Inside the stations too, Uber will place information desks and booking facilities," said Dr Mangu Singh, Managing Director of DMRC.

Sometimes car ownership is a trap that prevents innovation, says Uber CEO

Micro mobility is an exciting space for Uber, informed Pradeep Parmeswaran, the company's India head.

Khosrowshahi also spoke about Nirmala Sitharaman’s latest comment on car sales being affected by the likes of Uber and Ola.

“One of the enemies of innovation is established businesses. We are moving from a world of ownership to a world of services. The dream is now to have freedom. Sometimes car ownership is a trap that prevents innovation. India doesn't need to be trapped by these established models, India can be a trailblazer for other established countries,” he said.

The Uber CEO also has big expectations from India. He said, “India is going to be a big source of innovation. One example is the Uber Lite app, was designed and built in India and moved to over 30 countries around the world.”

Uber is also set to hire more in India. “We are very proud of the engineering and product talent based out of Bengaluru and Hyderabad. We have a goal to double the headcount in these offices and have 1,000 people to build innovative products out of India,” said Manik Gupta, Uber's chief product officer.
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