As it promised earlier this year, Uber is testing bus and train travel options in the UK via a partnership with Berlin-based travel platform Omio, TechCrunch has reported. "We’re excited to launch our new travel offering this summer, allowing a seamless door-to-door travel experience across the UK," Uber UK general manager Andrew Brem said in a statement.
Omio covers over 1,000 transportation providers in 37 countries. It has its own travel app for consumers, but has also been developing a business-to-business API that allows partners to access its ground transport network. The company also offers air and ferry travel on its consumer app and website, but its primary focus is on train and bus/coach travel.
The company has already partnered with UK's LNER, travel site Kayak and others, but Uber is its biggest partner so far. "Uber is the first partner that is both at this scale but also the first that gets access to our full ticketing API so you actually are, as a customer, able to do everything within the Uber app," Omio CEO and founder Narem Shaam told TechCrunch.
With access to Omio's API, Uber will be able to offer international train travel to UK users right away. Trips booked via Uber's app will generate a commission for Omio, which it will share with Uber via an undisclosed split. Uber is also paying Omio to license its technology.
Omio believes that its app has a "high overlap" with Uber users, and is hoping the deal will increase its UK market penetration. Ground transport functionality will be added in phases with a basic feature set launching today and building out over the coming months.