Wednesday, 20 June, 2018

Uber rolls out cheaper Express Pool service that rivals buses

Uber may offer its “Express POOL” service as an option at San Francisco International Airport Uber may offer its “Express POOL” service as an option at San Francisco International Airport
Nellie Chapman | 21 February, 2018, 20:29

Let us know how you like it when you try it!

That makes it even more comparable to traditional public transit than Uber's Pool service, which launched in 2014 and offers users the opportunity to save on the cost of a ride by picking up other passengers along the way to their destination.

The company announced on Wednesday a shared ride service called Express Pool.

Uber initially launched as a high-end black vehicle service in San Francisco in 2009, but over the years it's adapted to the on-demand world. Dirt-cheap fares, up to 50 percent cheaper than UberPool and 75 percent less expensive than UberX.

Some of the big challenges around making POOL work as created to provide the lowest cost option of Uber's various tiers to the most people possible have been around intelligent routing.

The catch: Unlike a regular Uber POOL, which picks up and drops off passengers wherever they happen to be located, an Express will calculate pickup and drop-off points that are mutually convenient to the rider and driver alike.

Following a pilot in San Francisco and Boston, Uber has rolled out its Express Pool service to more cities across the US.

Starting this week, Uber customers in select cities will be able to request a shared ride with up to four passengers. He attributed this to requiring passengers to walk a block or two to a designated Uber stop, rather than allowing them to wait inside a building.

A customer then walks to a pickup spot where they will see other riders.

Uber's intent with POOL is to help lower the cost of entry to its product to make it the massive base of the ride hailing pyramid that can reach the most people thanks to affordability near on par with public transit.

"If you're pulling out your phone and choosing Express Pool time after time, we want you to feel like there's going to be a consistent experience every time and the confidence that you're going to have a really straight, really smooth trip", Stock said.

In addition to saving time, Stock believes the service could help cut down on city congestion and pollution. This is key if Uber hopes to sustain the POOL model - Uber POOL rides comprise only about 20 percent of business in areas where the option is available. As far as timing, the 1.5-mile trip through downtown San Francisco would take about 17 minutes with UberX, 26 minutes with Pool and between 26 minutes and 36 minutes with Express Pool.