Uber announced on Thursday that it will be launching uberPOOL in D.C. on Oct 22. UberPOOL allows users to split rides with others traveling along approximately the same route, and save money by doing so.
It works like this: When users open the app they can select the uberPOOL option, enter a pickup and dropoff location, and then they’ll be matched with at least one other rider traveling on a similar route. Unlike uberX, uberPOOL riders are quoted a guaranteed fare before they request. And an extra perk — this fare is guaranteed even if there isn’t anyone else riding on your route.
The option, which is already live in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Austin and Boston, is said to be a significant cost-saver even though surge pricing still applies. As the Washington Post notes, “some uberPool trips in San Francisco are said to be up to 40 percent cheaper than uberX.”
According to the press release, though, Uber’s altruism goes beyond just wanting to help individuals save money. UberPOOL will also wants to help reduce congestion on the roads by enabling more people to travel in fewer cars. As an Uber spokesman told the Washington Post, “We hope this is a way to tackle that issue and reduce the congestion.”
Of course, D.C. already has its own homegrown carpooling app: Split. However, Spilt currently only operates in northwest (and central) D.C., while uberPOOL’s range will be much larger.
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