Uber Express Pool is coming to town, move over buses

On Wednesday, Uber announced a new feature, where riders "wait a few minutes before their trips begin, and then walk a short distance to a nearby spot for pick up and drop off".

In addition to having to walk a little prior to the journey, riders will also have to walk a bit at the end of their journey to reach their final destination. However instead of a door-to-door service where the driver will pick up multiple passengers, Uber Express Pool will require that passengers walk to the location of the driver.

Express Pool is rolling out to Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, Miami, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C., on top of San Francisco and Boston. But, if more people are using the service that gets them where they need to go efficiently (say, Pool or Express Pool over Uber X) surge pricing will decrease, as the app will be able to take more people on fewer routes.

By directing passengers to pickup locations, the company expects to cut travel time and make Uber rides more efficient.

"Express Pool", the ride-sharing company's new service, is a variation of its existing "Uber Pool" service.

In light of the common complaints riders have about Uber POOL, Uber Express POOL will ask riders to make the routes easier to accommodate. How?

The service is Uber's first big project in three in a half years and has undergone a lengthy trial period. Express Pool is meant to make a profit. The service's fares are up to 50 percent cheaper than standard shared Pool rides and up to 75 percent cheaper than UberX fares.

The idea is that this will help maximize the efficiency of a trip, which might come in handy if certain areas are congested, and walking to your driver might actually be faster than your driver coming to you. In the small city of Altamonte Springs, Florida, the local government is even subsidizing Uber to provide rides to the local light rail station.

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.

"We add a small amount of time, one to two minutes at the beginning of the ride", Stock said. Uber is still betting on a future where vehicle ownership turns into auto pooling. Today the word comes down that Uber Express Pool Provides Cheapest Fares Yet.

Using feedback from those riders, Uber "built the next generation of shared rides from the ground up", Stock said.

  • David Armstrong