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Carroll School of Management

Reliability-and-Affordability

Travis Kalanick

Co-Founder and CEO, Uber Technologies

Excerpt from remarks to Boston College’s Chief Executives Club  

December 1, 2015

TAKEAWAY: Reliability and Affordability

Moderator von Tobel:
So let’s talk a little bit about UberPOOL and UberCOMMUTE. What gets me excited as I think about that, I think about, you could potentially replace city transit in a delightful way. But how did you guys make that decision, and how are you guys really dedicating resources, and what’s the strategy behind it?

Kalanick:
Well, look, the strategy for us is always finding ways to help people move that are more affordable and more convenient. And so, uberPOOL’s interesting. What happens is, you push a button. Uber comes just like it did before. You open the door and you get in the car, and there’s somebody else already in the car. And that’s because we’re so dense in cities now in terms of activity that, many times, two people are taking the same trip at the same time or very similar trips. Maybe you’re along the route.

And once you do that, you’re now, instead of two cars, it’s one. And instead of paying for two cars and paying for two drivers’ incomes and paying for two of everything, it’s now one. And so you can lower the price, and then the whole thing starts to spin and work.

Of course there’s huge impact on congestion. I spoke about that earlier. But our whole goal is—or maybe our mission is—transportation as reliable as running water everywhere for everyone. So a reliable way to get around your city without ever having to own a car.

And that’s UberPOOL. UberCOMMUTE’s really interesting because it’s something we launched in China but haven’t brought to the U.S. just yet, but we’re excited to do so, where you’re just going to work. You’re commuting to work, and you’re driving your own car. You can turn on the driver app and then pick somebody up on your way to work.

And again, this is just taking carpooling to the next level. And again, it fits that cross between convenience and affordability. For the driver, only going a couple minutes out of their way and making a few bucks, basically the cost of their vehicle, it totally makes sense. For the rider, it feels like an Uber trip, but it helps to bring costs down dramatically.