How Uber Plans To Conquer The Suburbs

Priya Anand on the city of Summit, New Jersey striking a deal with Uber to transport riders to their train station:

The benefit is clear for Summit, which now can forgo massive capital expenditures on a new parking lot it would otherwise need to build and maintain. Instead, it can pay a fraction of that amount to shuttle people to and from the train using Uber. Rogers told BuzzFeed News that he expects the deal will cost Summit only about $167,000 annually, a far cry from the likely $10 million it would cost to build a parking lot — plus, Summit doesn’t have enough idle land downtown, anyway.

I suspect will start to see a lot more of these types of deals. It's not just the ridiculous amount of space that parking lots and structures take up, it's the cost associated with building them. This just makes too much sense. 

The next question: at what point does it make sense to subsidize Uber in smaller towns and cities versus building out a public transportation network at all? Controversial, no doubt. But a debate we're going to have. 

(Disclosure: GV, where I'm a partner, is a large shareholder in Uber, of course.)


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