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Uber now offers a $15 monthly plan for access to cheaper fares

Uber has launched a subscription service that gives riders exclusive access to “consistent, low prices” for a monthly fee.

It appears to be an effort by Uber to boost loyalty among riders and discourage them from hopping between different ridesharing services.

Ride Pass is available for UberX and UberPool trips in Austin, Orlando, Denver, and Miami for $15 a month, and Los Angeles for $25 a month. The higher fee for Los Angeles is because folks there will soon get free access to Uber’s ebikes and scooters, too, as part of the package.

The service, which aims to offer savings of up to 15 percent for each ride, bases its prices on data for similar routes made previously and will be unaffected by surge pricing — a big annoyance for many Uber riders.

“One thing we hear a lot from riders is that changes in price — however small — can make it tough to plan their day with Uber,” Dan Bilen, product manager at Uber, wrote in a post announcing Ride Pass. “The daily commute is a classic example, and it goes something like this: you pay one low price for the ride to work, only to find the ride back home is a different story. You’re frustrated, and from that moment on you might think twice about leaving the car at home.”

Bilen said Ride Pass aims to make Uber “a reliable alternative to driving yourself — an affordable option people can use for their everyday transportation needs.”

You can sign up for Ride Pass through the Uber app, and with each ride you’ll be able to track the savings you’re making over the regular rates — to make sure it’s worth it.

This isn’t the first time Uber has experimented with subscriptions plans, with Uber Plus in 2016 offering a variation of Ride Pass in selected cities.

Meanwhile, Lyft — Uber’s main ridesharing rival in the U.S. — made its subscription-based “All-Access Plan” available nationwide from this month.

Lyft’s offering charges $299 a month for 30 rides that cost up to $15 each — if a single ride costs more than $15, you simply pay the difference, and if you take more than 30 rides, Lyft promises to discount each ride fee by 5 percent.

Neither Uber’s Ride Pass nor Lyft’s All-Access Plan are guaranteed to save you money, but there are certainly potential savings for those who use ridesharing services on a regular basis.

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