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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.

Go deeper

Ray LaHood predicts bipartisan push to aid public transit

Axios' Ina Fried (l) and former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said he expects a bipartisan push in Congress to shore up public transportation during the coronavirus pandemic, as it did for the airlines earlier this year and is under pressure to do again.

The state of play: During an Axios virtual event, LaHood underscored that Americans are using cars, rather than public transit, during COVID-19 pandemic. Public transportation as a result has subsequently seen a massive drop in ridership and revenue along with it.

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.