Now that millions of Americans are thinking twice about traveling this summer, due to the crippling price hikes for both fuel and flight tickets, Uber is relaunching an old feature many thought had been permanently removed – and one that may help travelers on a budget save money on short trips. Uber Pool is official back, with a few twists.
The Covid-induced inflation and its long-term impacts have changed the travel landscape abruptly in the last couple of months. We went from post-pandemic excitement to a full blown fuel and aviation crisis in only a matter of weeks, pushing up the price of travel and casting doubts on the long-anticipated economic recovery.
Fortunately, Uber is doing its part in easing the burden currently shared by all travelers:
Taking An Uber In 2022 Is About To Become Much Cheaper
Two years after having suspended the Pool feature, as a result of the conflicting Covid regulations across different countries, and the need for social distancing, Uber is bringing it back under a new name: UberX Share. Besides the rebrand, the service provider has also made some major upgrades to the feature.
Between 2019 and 2022, Uber fares rose by a staggering 45 per cent, as confirmed by Bloomberg, largely due to the rising cost of fuel in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Even though the tragic events in Europe are an ocean away from the States, the embargo on Russian oil is hitting Americans in the pocket.
Under the current circumstances, filling up a car can easily cost over $100 in several U.S. states, affecting both drivers and customers relying on platforms such as Uber. With the return of the Uber carpool – re-titled UberX Share – passengers will be able to share a ride with other commuters to save on cash, making trips much more accessible again.
Uber Pool 2.0 Has Some Major Improvements Over The Original
Starting this summer, riders will be able to ‘Share a Ride, Get Savings‘: in simpler terms, they will be entitled to an ‘upfront discount’ when choosing to travel with UberX Share, or up to 20% off the fare when succeeding in matching with a co-rider on the way. Taking an Uber to and from the airport has never been easier – or cheaper.
Besides the discount, Uber is guaranteeing drivers will ‘Stay on Schedule’. Unlike the extinct Pool, UberX Share will only match co-riders traveling on the same route, allowing both drivers and passengers to optimize their time, and preventing the dreaded pickup, drop-off delays associated with carpooling.
Additionally, UberX Share drivers are being instructed to arrive no more than 8 minutes later than their UberX counterparts, further improving service reliability for the summer season. While there is no way of predicting whether a flight will be axed or not amid the ongoing travel chaos, one thing is for certain: your Uber driver will be there.
Besides the aforementioned improvements on co-rider matching and wait times, UberX Share will be limited to two passengers at a time. You read that right: no more sharing the car sandwhiched between three other strangers all heading in completely different directions. With this update, Uber rides are set to become a lot more comfortable.
Lastly, by improving the carpooling experience and fixing a few of Uber Pool’s most common errors, the company promises to match ‘more people in fewer cars faster’. Coupled with the discounts, this will help lower fares drastically, as less fuel will be required and gas emissions per passenger will be curtailed.
Where Is UberX Share Available?
So far, only a handful of cities in the U.S. have the feature available at the time this article was written. However, as summer rolls in and more travelers hit the road, more spots across America will be getting the long-awaited upgrade as well. For now, only commuters residing in the following cities can use UberX Share:
- New York City
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- San Diego
For more updates on the UberX Share rollout, including new launch dates in specific cities, please refer to the Uber Newsroom.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories