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December 4, 2017

Has Uber turned a corner by joining UITP?

Can Uber turn around its image after a year of controversy?

By April Slattery

In a bid to revive its somewhat tarnished reputation, Uber has joined the International Public Transport Association (UITP) to boost mobility across cities the firm operates in.

Uber has been added within the digital platforms section of UTIP, offering services or assets via the internet, alongside other newcomers including CityMapper and ride-hailing rivals Grab.

The ride hailing firm has joined the UITP to connect more people within cities, as the organisation’s aim is to reduce congestion across cities and encourage people to join together on public transport.

Has Uber turned a corner by joining UITP?

Uber joins UITP to boost mobility within cities.

Andrew Salzberg, Head of Transportation Policy and Research at Uber, told Reuters: “One of the big emphases that Dara (Khosrowshahi) has made, is that we want to be better partners for the cities we operate in.”

UITP believes the digital market is boosting the public transport industry, with the internet boosting business models and encourages the public to dually commute to reduce the amount of transport on the road.

Alain Flausch, Secretary General at UITP, said: “New players need to operate to complement existing public transport. The advent of the smartphone launched an unprecedented emergence of new players, whose influence is extending to all facets of the public transport market and digitalisation is promising to propel the industry further.”

Uber will work on a series of training sessions with UITP beginning with ‘First and Last Mile of Public Transport’, which will help connect people better at the start or end of their journeys.

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Scandal-hit Uber has been travelling along a rocky road for the last year or so, from the departure of its former CEO Travis Kalanick and replacement with now CEO Dara Khosrowshahi to losing its license across London thanks to Transport for London (TfL).

Not forgetting the court fight for workers’ contract rights and the recent reveal of a data breach cover up from 2016, exposing 57million victims.

However, amid these many setbacks the company has faced over the last six months, Uber’s efforts now aim to improve the relationship the firm has with local authorities, with the company hoping to boost its reputation and recover its darling of the tech world status that it once held.

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