Uber’s ambitions are much more than taxi service

January 1, 2016

By: Vanessa Lu, Business Reporter, the Toronto Star

Uber may have started out as a way to disrupt the taxi business, but it’s setting its sights on becoming a more integral part of our life — doing everything from delivering meals to providing health care.Website Insert Coach Business Class Food Service copy

“Their ambitions are being bigger than a taxi service. You’re seeing them move into logistics, connecting people who want a good or a service,” said Sunil Johal, policy director at the Mowat Centre at the University of Toronto.

“I would anticipate that they are constantly looking for new opportunities to disrupt new sectors.”

That could include everything from meal sharing to tutoring, from legal services to home care for the elderly. “It’s limitless, the amount of peer-to-peer services,” Johal said.

“What we are seeing is a real opportunity to move things, and not just people,” said Ian Black, general manager of Uber Canada.

“Traditionally, the first-mile and last-mile transportation networks have been underdeveloped,” Black said. “It’s an unanticipated result of building a network of drivers in all these cities . . . We’re in a good position to solve that problem.”

Uber is already partnering with transit authorities; in Dallas, it links Uber drivers with commuters for the last chunk of the trip from commuter rail stations.

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