Uber may list tube and bus routes in its smartphone app

Uber app

Uber doesn't have the rosiest relationship with Transport for London (TFL), the UK capital's transport authority that revoked (and then conceded) Uber's private cab license in a drawn-out negotiation over the past year.

That could be set to change. The Financial Times reported on Uber's apparent plans to incorporate TFL's public transport schedules into the Uber app. 

Most of this information - the expected times and travel routes of London's extensive bus and underground networks - is publicly available to access and use, but a firmer partnership with TFL could also see the Uber app offer live updates and journey alerts alongside more basic services.

This echoes Uber's moves to integrate public transport data in San Francisco, among wider ambitions of becoming a one-stop-shop for journey planning in the vein of Google Maps.

A spokesperson for TFL denied any active assistance was currently being given to Uber to incorporate its data.

My way or the high way

Of course, Londoners - and residents of many major UK and EU cities - already receive an all-round journey planner service from CityMapper, a popular iOS and Android app that also connects directly to Uber's private cab services.

TFL still lacks its own dedicated transport app for London, relying instead on the efforts of other developers. A blended Uber / TFL app could well become the go-to service for getting around London, though Uber may have to stop playing nice with CityMapper in order to do it.

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.