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Soest, Germany - August 4, 2019: Uber driver holding smartphone in Volkswagen car. Uber is an American company offering transportation services online.
Photograph: Lutsenko Oleksandr / Shutterstock.com

Uber will soon let you book trains, flights and even hotels via the app

The US mobility giant wants to become the one-stop shop for national and international travel

Ed Cunningham
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Ed Cunningham
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If you thought Uber was already a pretty ginormous company, well, it’s about to get even bigger. In the UK, the American mobility giant already offers taxis, bikes, boats and scooters. But it’ll soon make inter-city trains, coaches and nationwide car rental available on the app, too.

Whichever way you look at it, Uber’s expansion will almost certainly prompt a major shake-up of the UK transport sector. Promising greater integration of travel than ever before, the idea is that you’ll be able to book a coach or train and then have a cab waiting to pick you up at the station – and then, if you’re in the mood, also have an Uber Eats ready at your destination. It could pave the way for a much more seamless, hassle-free form of travel.

Uber wants to add trains, coaches and car rentals to its app by this summer, but its longer-term plans go even further. By the end of the year, the company wants to be able to offer flights and cross-Channel trains, too. Eventually, it wants to also include hotels – truly trying to make sure that, for any kind of travel, there’s no need to leave the Uber app. Pretty bold stuff, to say the least.

Under the new plans, Uber won’t actually be providing its own trains, coaches, cars, planes and hotels. Don’t expect to see Uber Rail or Uber Air anytime soon. Instead, it’ll be working with a number of partners which will be fully integrated into the app. Those firms are set to be confirmed in the coming months.

So is this all dystopian AF or really, really useful? Well, it’s too early to say for sure. On the one hand, in terms of employment rightspaying enough tax and general scandal, Uber hasn’t historically been one of the world’s most ethical companies. But on the other, travel might well become easier and more convenient than ever before. Take the good with the bad, eh?

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