Uber Is Invading The Suburbs Starting With New Jersey

Pictured: Summit, NJ train station. Image credit: Doug Kerr/Flickr.
Pictured: Summit, NJ train station. Image credit: Doug Kerr/Flickr.

Starting next week, on October 10, Uber will subsidize rides for residents living in Summit, New Jersey, from the local train station to their homes. This move, the result of a partnership with the town trying to deal with a parking problem, is just another way the company is attempting to expand into the suburbs.

Summit, a small suburban town less than an hour’s train ride outside of New York City, has had problems with train station parking in the past. There are simply too many commuters for the cramped parking lot to accommodate. And since the station is located smack in the heart of quaint downtown Summit, building a new parking structure is impossible. Uber, it seems, is the answer.

The idea started last year, when Summit’s city administrator, Michael Rogers, contacted Uber and pitched the idea of subsidized rides, reports BuzzFeed. Instead of having commuters hunting and paying for a parking spot in the morning, they could pay $2 each way and be driven to and from the station every day. It would cost about the same as a parking pass at the station. This would both reduce the demand for parking spots and increase the demand for Uber cars.


The six-month experiment, which begins on Monday, will be for about 100 Summit commuters. Here’s how it will work:

Residents will have to opt into the Uber pilot program, and the ride-hail company will denote their accounts for the promotion. Residents who have already purchased $4-per-day parking permits will be able to take Uber to the train station for free. Those without prepaid parking permits will pay $2 each way. Summit will reimburse Uber for the difference between the flat fares and the true cost of a ride, which drivers will receive up front.


Rogers told BuzzFeed News that he expects the deal will cost Summit only about $167,000 annually, a far cry from the likely $10 million it would cost to build a parking lot.

This is an extremely strategic move on Uber’s part. Not only does it get more Uber cars into a suburban neighborhood, it also helps to raise awareness for ridesharing and ride-hailing. It’s easy to Uber or Lyft to places if you’re living in the city, but such options are scarce in most suburbs.

Additionally, if this program takes off, it could potentially spread to other towns within the area. The Uber takeover is happening.

Writer at Jalopnik and consumer of many noodles.

Share This Story

Get our `newsletter`


Uber is taking advantage of the hole left by public policy. unfortunatly I fear this will lead to terrible results for the health, economy and culture of the united states.

The hole im talking about is transportation. The public sector through infighting has completely eroded one of its core responsibilities, funding infrastructure for economic growth. Specifically public transportation.

Privatized “public” transportation can’t really be a thing because the cost of public transportation is made up by the increase of business activity in the areas of investment. Private companies can’t really take advantage of that and if they did it would be some sort of massive vertical integration. IE

So Uber has stepped in.

This is terrible for us. More urban sprawl, more inefficient energy wasting large sqft homes. more cultural segregation and cultural isolationism. missed opportunity on economic growth and worst of all more cars on the road. yes Jalops. I firmly belive self driving cars and car-sharing will follow the Jevon’s paradox and increase demand for the resources of infrastructure and energy for transportation, offsetting the efficency gains from self driving cars

this also means more energy consumption and more greenhouse emissions.