Looking for an in with the HOV lane on your morning commute? Consider Uber’s latest venture — Pool to SF — a long-distance commuting carpool that takes residents of South Bay to their various San Francisco destinations, anytime from 6 to 10 a.m., Monday through Friday. For as low as $20, Uber says, you don’t have to brave that morning commute on your own and risk falling asleep at the wheel. Instead, like any other Uber ride, just select the Pool to SF option on the slider, input your pickup address, and send in your request.
According to the company’s newsroom article, average prices from Palo Alto to San Francisco are just $20, whereas starting from Mountain View will hike prices $2 to $22, and San Jose is slightly more expensive at $26. “Average fare estimates [are] based on time and distance,” Uber notes, and because fares are displayed in app before you get in the car, you’re given the opportunity to decide whether it makes more sense to rough it yourself or hop in someone else’s car.
In an email to TechCrunch, Uber’s Bay Area general manager Wayne Ting wrote, “We are piloting UberPool as an option from the Peninsula to San Francisco during the morning commute to ease the hassle and expense of driving into the city.” And considering the serious traffic that folks have to brave in order to get to work, the company hopes that this latest initiative will be beneficial to everyone on the road. “With more folks sharing rides, we can make the price point more affordable, help get cars off the road and ease congestion,” Ting added.
If riding with a random isn’t your cup of tea, you can add a friend to the Uber for just another $10, and if you split the cost, you’ll both pay only $15 to get from your doorstep to your destination. As Uber points out, “You don’t have to worry about gas or parking- just open the Uber app and pool to work.”
Whether the beta will be expanded to other cities has yet to be determined, and with Uber’s continuing international struggles, it may not be the most popular option elsewhere. But in its home base of San Francisco, it may meet with a bit more love.