Uber launches its cheapest service yet
After three and a half years, UBER finally rolled out a new significant product called “UBER Express Pool”.
Uber Pool vs. Uber Express Pool
Currently, if an UBER customer wants to get a cheaper ride, he can opt for the UBER Pool option, which turns his service into a sort of minibus service by matching riders travelling in the same direction. This way, customers can split the bill.
But, whereas when opting for an UBER Pool, clients are still picked up and dropped off where they requested to be, this will no longer be possible when opting for the UBER Express Pool.
In a bid to become more affordable and efficient, UBER is now asking its customer to walk to and wait at a pickup location. This new option is said to be as much as 50 percent cheaper than a standard shared Uber Pool ride and up to 75 percent cheaper compared to a UberX ride.
How does it work?
When you open your UBER app and choose the new Pool Express option, you won’t be able to select an exact pick up location, but rather a pick up area. You will then have to wait for a couple of minutes until the app’s algorithm matches you with other people in your area, who are going in the same direction. By making the customers walk a couple of blocks to their drivers, UBER hopes to optimize the route as much as possible, making the ride quicker and cheaper.
Last-mile solution vs. public transportation usurpation
When Lyft rolled out a similar service (Lyft Shuttle) in June of last year, people were quick to point out that it was just a bus marketed as a ridesharing service. This is seen by public authorities as a potential threat as it would put even more cars on the road. But, Uber claims that its new service will serve as a last-mile solution rather than compete with public transportation. Ethan Stock, who manages shared rides at Uber, claims that the company’s new service “makes public transit work better and helps people to choose that rather than their own private cars, which is one of the big things UBER is working on”.