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.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 32,471,119 — Total deaths: 987,593 — Total recoveries: 22,374,557Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 7,032,524 — Total deaths: 203,657 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,483,712Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.
Mike Allen, author of AM
11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden pushes unity message in new TV wave

A fresh Joe Biden ad, "New Start," signals an effort by his campaign to make unity a central theme, underscoring a new passage in his stump speech that says he won't be a president just for Democrats but for all Americans.

What he's saying: The ad — which began Friday night, and is a follow-up to "Fresh Start" — draws from a Biden speech earlier in the week in Manitowoc, Wisconsin: