Uber found a way to trim 25% of the price of a ride. Uber Express Pool requires you to walk up to a few blocks for your pickup and your destination before and after the ride in exchange for the cheapest fare among all Uber options.
This feature dynamically generates easy-to-drive "smart spots" to and near the origin or destination of multiple people looking for an express pool. You are there, it tells you where to walk, you go there, join other passengers, take your ride, drop you somewhere easily accessible near your destination, and you get directions to walk in the application until your final address. By picking up and dropping several groups of people at once, Uber avoids turning away from the main streets of a city and passes on some of the savings.
I first spotted the new Uber Express Pool option in San Francisco this week, then I noticed an email from Uber saying that it was "Introducing our ride". The email explained that "POOL Express is a new type of shared ride that starts and ends at convenient Express locations. Update your application today to start getting on for as little as $ 2. "
After questioning me about this feature, an Uber spokesman said, "We are still thinking about how to reduce the number of cars, while continuing to offer affordable transportation options to consumers. As part of this effort, we are testing some changes at Express POOL where runners are heading to nearby locations that are convenient for everyone. "
They confirmed that there is currently a very small pilot program in some areas of Boston and San Francisco. But if pilots prove popular, Uber Pool Express could expand to more markets.
In July 2015, I wrote that Uber should tell people where to get caught nearby and offer small discounts when they are ready to walk. Shortly after, the company began testing the "Pickup Point Suggestions" to make small route optimizations, but with no rebates.
Uber quietly began testing another feature with the same name "POOL Express" in May 2017, but received no attention from the press. At that time, you plan your trip up to hours in advance and then get a lower fare after a short walk. The newly redesigned version that Uber has just implemented is on demand like the rest of Uber. There is always the separate option to program an UberX, Black or SUV in advance for full price.
The updated feature brings the price of an Uber below the $ 2.75 that San Francisco charges for a bus ticket. This could be particularly useful for those who are willing to exchange some time and effort to save money, which will save Uber POOL time. And it could be a free discount for people living on one-way streets or alleyways that might already call their Uber to pick them up at the corner of Main Street.
Uber is looking for the perfect ride, which means polishing every part of the journey. Cutting ETA with such a feature is particularly advantageous because Uber and the driver are usually not paid during the pre-pick-up. Reducing the price by putting a little work on the passenger could open Uber to new budget-conscious demographics, and allow it to be a replacement for public transit. And as it has been shown that the use of ridesharing reduces the use of public transport, fares and bus fares could continue to rise as Uber rates go down.