Uber noticed that riders, using the app to hail a driver, sometimes designate their pickup spot as their exact location but then move it across the street or at the end of the block, Uber spokeswoman Kaitlin Durkosh said. When your ride details are finalized, we'll give you walking directions and the ETA to pick up so you know when and where to meet your driver and co-riders. Riders get dropped off at a single location, and walk to their final destinations. Starting today, it's coming to DC, LA, Miami, Philadelphia, San Diego and Denver, and more cities will be added over the next few weeks and months across the U.S. It's also not as attractive for drivers since they have to drive to various locations to drop off multiple people.
Instead of going out of the way to pick up other riders, the app will alert an Express Pool rider of a few-minute wait time and/or recommend a short walk to the ideal pickup location to optimize the carpooling ride.
The company first trialled Express Pool - which works in a similar way to Lyft Line - in San Francisco and Boston. Dirt-cheap fares, up to 50 percent cheaper than UberPool and 75 percent less expensive than UberX. In the small city of Altamonte Springs, Florida, the local government is even subsidizing Uber to provide rides to the local light rail station. 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.
"The future of transportation in cities includes a shift towards more space-efficient modes of transportation and away from personal auto ownership", Zipcar co-founder Robin Chase said in the release.
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Like the existing UberPool service, Express Pool groups multiple riders into one auto.
"Looking beyond this launch, we're even more excited about future opportunities to integrate Express Pool and other transportation options to complement and extend the reach of public transit", Stock said in the release.
While Uber's chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, recently expressed interest in the company someday running a city's buss ervice, Stock was quick to point out the differences between Express Pool and buses.
"People loved the price, but they had mixed feelings about the experience", Stock said of Uber Pool.