One of the reasons Uber is so popular is for the wide range of rideshare options they offer. The options available include: Economy, Premium, Accessibility, Carpool. A rideshare option for budgets and personal preferences of all shapes and sizes!
In this article, we are going to look at UberPOOL. This is Uber’s carpooling service which lets you share your Uber rides with others.
What is UberPOOL and How Does It Work?
Similar to Lyft’s service called Lyft Line, UberPOOL lets passengers match up with other riders heading the same direction. This gives rides access to a sweet, discounted fare.
The discount varies according to the city and time you take the ride. Usually, you can expect the fare to land between 25-40% less than a normal UberX ride fare. Travis Kalanick, the former CEO of Uber hailed UberPool as the “future of human-driven-transportation” that turns “every car into a shared car.” UberPool has the potential to reduce commute costs, cars on the road and carbon emissions.
Here’s how it works:
Hopping on to an UberPOOL is easy. Once you open the Uber app and enter your destination, select the UberPOOL option at the bottom of your screen to make the ride request. One pickup can encompass as many as 2 riders, for a total of 4 passengers in across 2 other pickups. This means that you can bring a friend with you on an UberPool, but not two. Once you hit confirm, you should be able to see your Uber driver’s arrival time, and how long it will take to reach your destination.
Note for drivers: You will receive a flat pickup add-on fare for every additional pickup stop you make after your first rider.
Your journey will be identical to a standard Uber trip, except that there may be several pickups and drop-offs along the way. If a passenger sharing you are sharing your ride with gets dropped off, the app will attempt to find another rider to fill the gap. This means that the car will likely always been full.
Once you arrive at your destination, Uber automatically charges you for your fare through your preferred payment method linked to your account, and then you get the option to tip and rate the driver.
How are UberPOOL Fares Calculated?
Uber isn’t clear on how UberPOOL pricing works, but rest assured that the price will always be less than a standard uberX ride, even if you don’t get matched up with a rider.
We think that UberPOOL’s pricing algorithm is dictated by the chance of you matching up with other riders. For example, booking a ride during rush hour increases your chances of getting paired up with other riders, which in turn decreases your fare amount. Chances of finding another rider are higher in busier places like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, and Chicago.
You can always use the Uber fare calculator to get an approximate fare estimate for your UberPOOL ride.
UberPOOL FAQ | Drivers and Riders Should Know This
While sharing the car with strangers may seem unsettling, this option makes getting to your destination more affordable. Once again, the future of transportation has evolved, so before booking your first UberPOOL, here are some of the most important things every passenger should know.
1. What Makes UberPOOL Different from uberX?
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UberPOOL is the more affordable alternative to uberX. The cost of the fare is 25-40% less than that of the uberX fare. The tradeoff is that the duration of the trip may increase by a few minutes.
2. How to Book an UberPOOL Ride?
Booking an uberPOOL ride is just like booking an uberX. First, set the pickup point and choose the destination. Once the upfront fare is shown, select the uberPOOL option. Don’t worry if there are no other passenger matches during the trip; the fare stays fixed.
3. What is the Estimated Waiting Time?
The estimated wait time for your UberPOOL will be calculated and presented prior to your booking the trip. It will not be drastically different from waiting times for uberX. Keep in mind that with UberPOOL, drivers can only wait for up to two minutes for additional riders.
4. Will Surge Pricing Still Apply to UberPOOL?
Yes, the price for UberPOOL service is linked to uberX pricing. The surge rate multiplier that gets added to the first rider gets added to secondary riders, too. On that note, the fare for UberPOOL will always be more affordable, because the possibility of a secondary trip is taken into account. For drivers, the calculation of payment differs compared to uberX. Discounts for riders are offered to convince more riders to take shared trips.
5. How Many Passengers are Allowed?
As of this moment, the app only accepts two people per pickup point, for a vehicle total of four passengers. For more than two passengers per pickup location, book an uberX or uberXL instead. Riders are informed of this policy when they sign up and request the ride.
6. How Do Secondary Trips Work?
Secondary UberPOOL trips appear automatically once another person requests a shared ride en route. The Uber app does not require permission from the first passenger to accept another ride. Instead, UberPOOL automatically updates the route in the map for a more efficient pick-up and drop-off.
7. Can You Still Change the Pickup Location or Destination?
Updating the trip location is not possible once an UberPOOL trip has started. The app uses the original pickup and drop-off locations to match with other riders heading towards the same destination. If a rider requests a destination change, the driver reserves the right to cancel the trip.
8. How does the drop-off order work? Can I be dropped off first if I was picked up first?
The order of drop off doesn’t necessarily follow the order of pick up. It depends on where each of the rider’s destination falls along the route. If the second passenger’s destination comes before yours, they will be dropped off first. The driver doesn’t get to pick the order of the drop-off. The app automatically shows them the most efficient pickup and drop off sequence.
9. Is UberPOOL the cheapest Uber ride available?
No. Although much lower than the standard uberX, UberPOOL is not the cheapest option offered by Uber. The cheapest Uber option is Express POOL. It’s similar to UberPOOL except that the driver picks and drops off riders at fixed locations. The app lets you know the pickup spot in advance when you book a ride.
Get more info about UberPool courtesy of iOS Genius video below:
Do you have any other UberPool FAQ in mind? Share it in the comments below.