Uber and Lyft Eyeing Crowdsourced Bus Startup Skedaddle, Report Says

The two ride-hailing companies are branching out to other forms of transportation.

Uber and Lyft have engaged in acquisition talks with crowdsourced bus startup Skedaddle, according to a TechCrunch report. None of the companies would confirm plans for a deal, but the move would make sense given both Uber and Lyft’s recent efforts to branch out into other forms of transportation.

Uber has been in talks with Skedaddle for more than a month, reports TechCrunch, citing an anonymous source familiar with the matter. A second anonymous source said Lyft had begun talks with the startup more recently. Skedaddle and Uber declined to comment to TechCrunch, while a Lyft spokesperson said the company was not in talks with Skedaddle.

Launched in 2015, Skedaddle is a bit like Groupon for buses. It allows individuals to charter buses for long-distance trips via an app. Once enough people are signed up for a given trip, the bus is booked. Riders can start their own trip or browse existing trips to find buses going to their destinations. 

Skedaddle focuses on transporting people to large venues, such as concerts or ski resorts to get a critical mass of passengers for each trip. Last year, the startup said it transported more than 11,000 people to the Women’s March on Washington from as far away as Kansas, for example.

Both Uber and Lyft are looking to expand into other areas of transportation beyond ride-hailing. In April, Uber acquired bicycle company Jump, and is currently operating a small-scale bike-sharing service in San Francisco. Lyft recently acquired Motivate, which operates bike-sharing services in multiple U.S. cities. Both companies have also applied for permits to deploy shared scooters in San Francisco. Could Uber and Lyft move on to buses next?