WASHINGTON — More than two years after rideshare companies suspended carpooling services at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Uber is re-introducing shared ride options in certain markets.
Now dubbed "UberX Share," the service is a revamped version of the previous "UberPool" feature, according to Andrew Macdonald, Uber's Senior Vice President of Mobility and Business Operations. The operation will first launch in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix, San Diego, Portland, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh, but Macdonald said more cities will be added over the summer.
"At Uber, we know affordability is important to making transportation more accessible for more people – especially in the current economic climate," Macdonald said in a statement. "Offering more affordable products isn’t just good for customers, it helps build out an ecosystem of affordable, multi-modal transportation – from shared rides, to micromobility, to public transit, which continues to be a powerful ally to Uber."
UberX Share will automatically apply an up-front discount to passengers who choose the service over Uber's other ride options, and an additional up-to 20% discount will be applied if the system finds a co-rider for the journey, according to Macdonald's statement.
In order to reduce delays, the statement added that passengers will only be matched with a co-rider that is heading in the same direction, and Macdonald said that UberX Share has been designed to guarantee passengers arrive no more than 8 minutes later than a standard UberX ride.
"Our pooling product has long been a rider favorite, from the spontaneous singalongs to meeting new friends and other fun chance encounters," he said. "We believe UberX Share, and the improvements we’ve made for drivers and riders, will make it better than ever."