Uber Eases Drivers’ Woes on UberPool Pickups

Uber is paying greater attention to the cogs in the wheel of its business. Amidst continuous reports of many drivers dissatisfied with, and avoiding, UberPool pickups, the ridesharing overlord has taken action. It recently announced a better compensation scheme for every additional passenger who avails of Pool.

UberPool is the transport network company’s carpool service. Uber will normally look for other matches for a passenger en route to a common destination. The bottom-line is that whether the passenger is matched or unmatched, he/she will pay less than a regular ride.

The adjustment in driver’s rate for UberPool pickups is a move seen as an act of building goodwill with Uber drivers. The past several years have seen Uber drivers with mounting concerns, aggravating the controversial ridesharing company’s troubles.

The UberPOOL service started out with high hopes for the ride-hailing company, as well as consumers looking to save costs when booking a comfortable vehicle as an alternative to mass transit. The UberPOOL experience can be a convenient, hassle-free one, particularly if a rider gets a car to oneself. It emerges as a cheap private car service.

Uber has proudly stated — during former CEO Travis Kalanick’s term — that that turning every car into a shared ride not only reduces traffic but also lessens carbon dioxide emissions. These aspirations were not exactly in the minds of cost-conscious consumers who were not that drawn to Uber before.  UberPool started out more like an experiment to cater to a huge market on the prowl for cheaper rides.

On a larger scale, the Pool also sets the stage for a whole new category of modern transportation. Uber describes it as a step towards the future, one that signals the arrival of driverless cars.

Customers, to date, have recounted positive and negative experiences with the Pool. Some recall sharing rides with annoying strangers, or of the UberPool service not working out well for them.

Disgruntled drivers

There have been numerous cases of drivers getting negative customer ratings because of UberPool. Some drivers lament losing control over the customer experience because of vexed riders.

Indeed, drivers have had mixed sentiments for the Pool. Multiple stops, pick-ups, and dropoffs tended to be cumbersome for many Uber drivers. Online forum discussions attest to disgruntled drivers not getting sufficient compensation for unmatched rides.

When a passenger takes an unmatched UberPool, the concerned driver is supposed to be reimbursed by Uber for the difference between the given fare and UberX fare. That reportedly has not always translated into reality. In a nutshell, Uber drivers earn based on their time and miles spent driving around passengers.

Some drivers have expressed that picking up two or more separate riders for a fare that usually ends up much less than two separate UberX rides is not worth the hassles. For many drivers, it amounts to more work for less money. Moreover, some drivers have expressed reaching mental breaking point having to deal with dissatisfied passengers.

There have been incentives offered to Uber drivers to retain them.  On top of earnings from rides, drivers get to receive additional cash if a certain amount of rides were completed in a given time frame. Such incentives, as some people noted, may add to market saturation.

Crop of changes for Uber drivers

Uber’s recent moves aim to bring about much-needed change to appease drivers while catering to the cost-conscious riding public. It can be noted that Uber has revamped other areas in its organizational structure and policies.

Discount offers, pricing and compensation schemes for the Uber driver community are part and parcel of the recent crop of changes. In fact, Uber has stepped up its campaign dubbed “180 Days of Change” to improve drivers’ plight. A new setting stored in driver’s account lets drivers in select countries including the US and Canada select the type of trips.

The new compensation formula for drivers lets a driver earn extra flat fare for every additional pickup. Uber is banking on the possibility that the change will encourage a driver to stop for a second or third passenger headed on the same route. Additional earnings for the driver for each additional pick-up will hopefully make the UberPool service more appealing. There is a variation in the rates for each US market, though. As far as San Diego is concerned, drivers get to earn 60 cents for every additional pick-up.

Time will tell whether Uber succeeds in easing one of the woes experienced by its drivers.  History has shown Uber that among the biggest threats to its business is not being customer-centric and employee-centric.

Disregarding the issues raised by drivers is likewise a pitfall, and Uber’s recent announced changes convey that it realizes that fact. New changes under a newly designated CEO, and constantly rolling out ways to improve both driver and passenger experience using lessons learned from experience coupled with technology are expected to translate to uptrend in growth for the recovering ride-hailing company.