Uber riders in select cities will have a chance to trim down their fares, as long as they’re comfortable sharing a ride with a stranger.
Ride-hailing service Uber on Tuesday announced the return of shared rides through UberX Share – formerly Uber Pool – in select U.S. markets. Shared rides, which allow drivers to pick up additional passengers along a route, are now available New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh, with more cities slated to join this summer.
Competitor Lyft also brought back shared rides in May to Philadelphia, Miami, San Francisco, San Jose, Denver, Las Vegas and Atlanta.
Uber scrapped shared rides in 2020 after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The feature can help passengers shave up to 20% off of their total fare, according to the company – welcome news for passengers who have noticed the price of Ubers and Lyfts ticking up in recent months amid rising gas prices and a driver shortage.
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“At Uber, we know affordability is important to making transportation more accessible for more people – especially in the current economic climate,” the company said in a news release. “By helping to match more people in fewer cars faster, we can help cut gas use, vehicle-miles and emissions per passenger, and make transportation more affordable.”
Uber said the redesigned UberX Share will only match passengers with riders heading in the same direction to prevent delays and will add no more than 8 minutes to an arrival time compared to a normal UberX ride.
Uber’s website notes that mask-wearing is optional but recommended for all riders and drivers.
Rideshare Drivers United, a California-based organization of Uber and Lyft drivers, says it is against the return of shared rides during the COVID-19 pandemic. The group demanded in February that Lyft end its shared rides program and has filed a complaint with the Division of Occupational Safety and Health of California.
That depends on where you drive.
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