Ride-sharing giant Uber is in talks with the NSW government to subsidise trips for Sydneysiders between their homes and public transport hubs.
The partnership would see government-subsidised Uber rides to and from train stations to “fill the gaps” of existing public transport.
An Uber spokesman said the plans for a partnership between the Californian tech company and the NSW government were “probably the most positive signs we’ve seen across Australia”.
“We’re keen to talk about these partnership opportunities in each state, to be frank, and they are the most progressed in NSW,” the spokesman told AAP.
Uber’s global head of transport policy and research Andrew Salzberg said the ride-sharing company provided governments a more cost-effective alternative to delivering and maintaining public transport services or building station car parks.
“Because we’re already on the ground there’s not an enormous up-front cost to get it running,” Mr Salzberg told AAP on a brief stop-off in Sydney.
The Uber submission to the NSW Commuter Car Parking Inquiry said 60 per cent of their trips in Australia began in “public transport deserts”.
The company also suggested the government consider integrating Uber services into Sydney’s Opal card payment platform.
Mr Salzberg said a Canadian town began a six-month pilot of subsidising Uber rides in May, rather than funding a public bus service.
“They partnered with us, to use the fact that we already had Uber in place, and provide discounted rides to citizens in the city, but a deeper discount to and from rail stations,” he said.
A NSW Transport spokeswoman said ride-share services, among others, had a “potentially significant role to play” in delivering public transport solutions across Sydney in the future.
She said the government wanted to make public transport more attractive to Sydneysiders, and solve the issue of getting to and from train stations in the suburbs.
Last week the government announced eight pilot trials of on-demand bus services throughout Sydney, which would be operated by private companies.