On Thursday Uber will introduce a new wrinkle on that idea.
The service is now being extended to Washington DC, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, San Diego and Denver - with more cities to follow. The company says Express Pool will be up to 50 percent cheaper than Pool and up to 75 percent cheaper than UberX.
Uber says Express Pool will be a lot cheaper too.
The service could complement Uber X, the companys door-to-door taxi service or draw passengers away from it.
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If you're a regular Uber user, you know the feeling.
In 2014 when Uber launched POOL, we had the vision of getting more people into fewer cars. Also that road congestion is bad and the solution is to share more rides. If they're ditching their personal auto and a sad solo commute for a pooled ride with three other people (the max, for now, in an Uber Express Pool), that could be a nice thing for everyone: fewer emissions, taking up less space on the road, less traffic.
The service would create less wear on cars and less fuel used per trip.
Currently, drivers are paid a fee in addition to the base fare for picking up additional passengers during UberPool trips. The trick here is to request your Uber about 10 minutes before you need to leave, Stock told reporters last week, which will give you plenty of time for the app to match you with your driver and for you to reach the meet up point. Uber Express Pool and Lyft Shuttle (which runs in San Francisco and Chicago) demand riders take mini strolls to the nearest arterials before hopping in something with wheels. Passenger feedback, he said, has indicated the trips were shorter and more direct compared to UberPool. It will also see drivers drop off passengers close to their locations instead of directly at their locations, which once again is about efficiency. This week, Uber is formally launching a new type of carpooling service that aims to address issues such as ferrying multiple passengers to a variety of destinations. Lyft also has its own service called Lyft Line.
Uber has an Uber Pool feature which allows passengers to group together if they are traveling along the same route.
The new service tests a thesis Uber has long had: Lower prices means higher utilization, and higher utilization means more money - both for drivers and for Uber. Uber plans to expand the feature to other major USA cities over the coming months, though at time of publication, there is no set release timeline in place. Yes, Express Pool will be affected by surge pricing, just like every other facet of the app.