Uber to help cities grasp traffic patterns

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Uber is offering a helping hand to some of the same city leaders it sometimes antagonizes with the aggressive way it runs its popular ride-hailing service.

The assistance will come in the form of a free website, called "Movement," expected to be available to the public in mid-February.

Uber announced the new website Sunday, on the eve of a transportation-planning conference in Washington.

Although anyone can use the website, Uber believes its main audience will be city officials dealing with congestion in their streets and transit systems.

The site draws upon data Uber gathers from its ride-hailing service showing average travel times on specific routes at certain times.

The San Francisco company believes that information will enable city officials to make better planning decisions about road closures and transportation improvements.