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Uber released its first new product in three years last week. It’s something that none of us were expecting, but all of us will appreciate: Express Pool.
UberX is Uber’s standard service that serves up to 4 people. UberPool is the more affordable version where you can ride with 1 or 2 passengers, and share the ride with others going to similar destinations. Express Pool is even cheaper than UberPool.
It’s a carpooling service, similar to UberPool, that you can request through the Uber app. The catch is that passengers will be asked to wait a bit longer to be matched with a driver. During this wait time, Uber will be optimizing their algorithm to get you matched with the most convenient driver and route. You might also be asked to walk a few blocks to meet your driver, alongside other Express Pool passengers.
The best part is, the Express Pool fares are up to 50% cheaper than UberPool and 75% cheaper than UberX!
Uber has been piloting this service in a few cities across the United States. Now, they’re making it available to even more cities, including Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and Miami. It should become available everywhere in the next few months!
The reason Uber is introducing Express Pool is because, despite their low profits, they believe carpooling is the way of the future. Carpooling is how Uber is going to get less drivers on the road, leading to decreased car ownership and better consequences for the environment.
Another perhaps more obvious reason Uber is introducing this cheaper service is because competition in the rideshare industry is fierce, and it’s not just Uber and Lyft anymore. Riders will do whatever they can to find the cheapest rideshare option, and often times, it’s not Uber. Uber wants to change that.
With Express Pool, Uber can be more efficient with how rides are made, while returning the same profits to drivers and a cheaper price for passengers.