Uber backs off talk of competing with public transit
Uber updated its S-1 filing on Friday ahead of its IPO and largely eliminated references to competing with public transportation.
The move follows criticism from public transit experts detailed in a CNN Business article on the broader impacts of the strategy.
When Uber initially released the regulatory filing on April 11, the document identified public transportation as competition to its business and said Uber’s growth will depend in part on how it goes up against it. The language was a shift from how Uber had talked publicly for years about being a complement to public transit.
In the initial document, Uber described public transportation as part of its total addressable market, a term it defined as what it can tackle over the long term. Public transportation experts told CNN Business that such a business strategy,if successful, would lead to gridlock in many cities.
Uber changed its tune in an updated S-1, which also revealed pricing for its initial public offering of between $44 and $50 a share. Direct references to competing with public transportation disappeared in many places throughout the 300-page plus document.
Uber declined to comment.
Rather than describing itself as providing “an alternative to personal vehicle ownership and usage of public transportation,” the document now describes Uber as offering “an alternative to personal vehicle ownership and usage of other modes of transportation.”
In at least one case, the amended document changed from talk of competing with public transportation to extolling its benefits.
“Public transportation can be a superior substitute to our personal mobility offering and in many cases, offers a faster and lower-cost travel option in many cities,” the document says.
The updated document continues to identify a $1 trillion public transportation market in the countries it operates. However, Uber now portrays that market as an opportunity to work with public transit.
“Partnerships with public transportation and future potential offerings, such as in-app journey planning and fare ticketing, could help us address these 4.4 trillion public transportation miles,” it said in the updated filing.