If you’re a ridesharing fan, what’s more important, convenient pick-ups and drop-offs, or cheap fares?
If it’s the latter, then you may be interested to know that Uber has just launched its first new service in three years. Called ExpressPool, it works by grouping together riders going in the same direction and designating a single pick-up point for everyone, not more than a couple of blocks from where you made the ride request.
So, yes, it’s likely to mean a little exercise and taking a bit longer to the moment when you actually climb in the car, but with fares reported to be up to 50 percent cheaper than UberPool, and up to 75 percent cheaper than UberX, what’s not to like?
The new ExpressPool service is available now via Uber’s app to riders in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Denver. It’s also up and running in Boston and San Francisco where it was tested over the last few months, and by the end of the week will be available in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Miami. A nationwide rollout is planned “soon,” the company said.
ExpressPool will be seen as a response to similar offerings by rivals, among them Lyft Line, which often works out cheaper than UberPool, Uber’s service that matches riders with other riders going in the same direction, but picks them up wherever they make the ride request.
Uber says that with Pool rides, time can be wasted picking up additional riders along the way, but with ExpressPool you’ll all be picked up in the same spot with no detours en route, which could end up making the trip just as quick as a Pool ride.
Essentially, if you don’t mind walking a block or two, Pool Express looks like a sensible option for riders keen on value for money.
“Walking and waiting help us make more optimal matches and provide better, straighter, faster routes with fewer detours, delivering an even more affordable and consistent option than [Uber]Pool to consumers,” Uber’s Ethan Stock explained in a blog post outlining the new service, adding that Express fits with its long-term plan of easing congestion and cutting pollution by “getting more people into fewer cars.”