Jun 19, 2020 - Technology

Uber, Lyft make ride-hailing adjustments as they seek profitability

A van.
Uber and Marin Transit are teaming up to provide a new, on-demand public transit option. Photo: Uber

Uber and Lyft both announced moves this week as they look for a profitable path forward.

The big picture: Both companies have been devastated by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, delaying their efforts to achieve profitability. But they are adapting for the long haul.

Uber licensed its ride-hailing software to a public transit agency in Marin County, California.

  • Uber app users in Marin County will see a new option called Marin Connect that will allow them to book a ride on a shared or wheelchair-accessible van operated by Marin Transit.
  • It's the first time Uber has licensed its software and could represent a bigger push into mass transit as an added source of revenue.

Lyft is pledging that every vehicle on its platform will be electric or powered by another zero-emission technology by 2030.

  • Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas, in a note to clients, reminds that EV adoption will be driven by cities and ride-sharing fleets, and he expects similar announcements to come.
  • Yes but: As my Axios colleague Ben Geman noted earlier this week (and former Obama Energy Department official Julio Friedmann reiterated in a Twitter thread last night), Lyft's plan requires substantial national policy changes and incentives.
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