Uber is launching the addition of train travel to its UK app so that customers can book long-distance trips through a fully integrated partnership with Berlin-based multimodal travel platform Omio. Uber Travel is the new feature that will allow customers to also use the app for train bookings, Eurostar included. Users will be able to purchase Eurostar rail tickets from London to destinations including Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Uber Travel forms an integral part of Uber’s vision for being a one-stop shop for door-to-door travel,” said Andrew Brem, Uber UK’s General Manager. “This will allow our customers to plan ahead by making bookings with Eurostar, or help ease the stress of travel this summer with updated flight details automatically imported into the smart itinerary.”
This is all part of Uber CEO’s vision, Dara Khosrowshahi, who had planned to turn her company into an “Amazon of transportation”. Previously, she was the CEO of the online travel agency Expedia. The UK is the California-based group’s second-largest global market, after the United States. Uber reported $17.5 billion in revenue in 2021, with losses of $496 million, up from $6.8 billion in 2020.
This will allow customers to plan ahead and help ease the stress of travel this summer.Andrew Brem, Uber UK’s General Manager
For its part, Omio has built its own consumer-facing apps to book intercity and international travel, across a wide range of supported transport options, over nearly a decade of operations. But in recent years, it has been investing resources in building a b2b lineup – making its inventory available to partners through Application Interfaces (APIs) so they can add transportation booking options to their own apps and platforms.
Uber is not the first partnership with Omio, according to founder and CEO Naren Shaam. He told TechCrunch that it is the first partner to gain full access to its ground transportation inventory – which covers more than 1,000 transportation providers in 37 countries right now.
“Uber is the first partner that’s at that scale, but also the first that gets access to our full ticketing API, so you as a customer can do everything within the Uber app. It’s a first with respect to this product we’re offering,” he said.
Omio’s previous b2b partnerships include some transportation providers, such as UK-based LNER, as well as travel search engine Kayak and smartphone maker Huawei, among others. The ride-hailing giant is also the biggest b2b partner Omio has signed so far. Shaam reported that the partnership will put its stock in front of the roughly 5 million customers Uber claims in the UK market.
This is the beginning of our partnership; it will expand beyond geography.Naren Shaam, CEO of Omio
And while Omio’s own app includes non-ground transportation options (such as ferries and even flights), he said his platform remains stronger in terms of stock for booking train and bus travel, thus the reason for the partnership with Uber. “This is the beginning of our partnership; it will expand – beyond geography,” Shaam said.
From the outset, the ground transportation connection through Omio’s API will allow Uber’s UK users to book international trains whenever they like. Shaam noted that Omio’s b2b partners can “pick and choose” from its full range of supported transportation models to offer their own customers.