At a press conference on Monday, Uber said it will focus on alcohol delivery electric scooters and bikes in the coming year. Last week, The Logic reported that these would be areas of focus for the company this year, but there were two significant new pieces of information coming out of today’s press conference: that Ontario is a priority market for alcohol delivery and that the company thinks it’s “likely” Toronto will see scooters and/or dockless bikes this year. (The Logic)
Talking point: Uber unsuccessfully bid on Calgary’s electric bike pilot in 2018, and it’ll face stiff competition in Toronto, with e-scooter companies Bird and Lime looking to get in on the action here. Monday’s announcement comes on the heels of a significant cross-country lobbying push by the company. In Toronto alone, Uber lobbied city officials 168 times in 2018. The company hopes its lobbying will turn into partnerships. Uber’s multimodal plan, for example, involves partnering with local governments on transit—like offering users bus passes for their commutes, which may also involve taking an UberX or e-bike, for example—in what Rob Khazzam, Uber Canada general manager, said is an effort to not make congestion worse as it puts more cars, bikes and scooters on the roads.