In exchange for walking a few blocks to a specified pickup and dropoff location, Express Pool riders can enjoy lower fares.
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. Instead it takes an often circuitous route to pick up riders at their location and drops them at their destination.
In this new option, you'll request your Express Pool from, say, that bar or museum you just explored, wait a couple of minutes, and then your Uber app will connect you with your ideal driver, according to Ethan Stock, Uber's Director of Product: Shared Rides. On Thursday, the service will expand to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Miami, joining Boston and San Francisco (where it already piloted) before rolling out nationwide at a yet-to-be announced date. Theoretically, the more customers use UberPool and Express Pool, the less Uber has to subsidize due to increased revenue.
Uber tested Express Pool in San Francisco and Boston, and is expanding it to six more United States cities with the official launch this week.
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Riders who select Express Pool will be asked to wait a minute or two longer than usual to be matched with a driver. "You'll see walking directions to the best spot". It will cost up to 50 percent less than Uber POOL and up to 75 percent less 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. Uber is still betting on a future where vehicle ownership turns into auto pooling.
Metro spokesperson Dave Sotero says the agency was not aware of the new Express Pool option.
"If you're pulling out your phone and choosing Express Pool time after time, we want you to feel like there's going to be a consistent experience every time and the confidence that you're going to have a really straight, really smooth trip", Stock said. The service launched in San Francisco and Boston past year. More cities will be added in the coming months.
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.