Uber plans to make sharing rides with Uber Pool even cheaper by asking passengers to wait and walk longer for rides. The ride-hailing company launched Express Pool in Los Angeles, San Diego and Denver Wednesday after piloting the feature in San Francisco and Boston. Express Pool launches in Miami, Philadelphia and Washington Thursday and more cities are on the way, the company announced.
Uber has been allowing riders to save money by sharing cars with its Pool service since 2014. With Express Pool, riders wait a few minutes after they summon a ride and then walk a few blocks away where they and other riders are picked up or dropped off. The walk and wait allows Uber to better match riders with drivers and create faster routes with fewer detours, the company said.
How Express Pool works
Riders who use Express Pool will have to wait a few extra minutes before they're matched with a ride. During that time Uber is picking co-riders, a driver and a suitable pickup spot. Once that's done, riders get walking directions to the pickup spot and an estimated time of arrival for their driver.
During the ride, Uber picks a drop-off spot. Once a rider gets out, they get another set of walking directions to their destination. Uber employees scouted pickup and dropoff locations on foot to make sure they didn't violate local laws, the Verge reported.
What's the upside?
The reward for all this walking is fares up to 50% cheaper than UberPool and 75% less expensive than UberX, according to the Verge.
Express Pool seems like a win for drivers, who should be able to pick up more fares in less time because their passengers are spending more time on foot. Uber Pool tended to occupy a lot of driver time with having to pick up individual passengers in disparate locations and shuttle them to disparate destinations. Ethan Stock, the Uber product lead for Express Pool, told the Los Angeles Times the new feature aims to cut down on the time spent scooping up individual passengers.
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