Uber Express Pool is like a minibus with cheaper rides

Uber exploring low-price 'Express POOL' service to SFO amid national expansion

"If you're pulling out your phone and choosing Express Pool time after time, we want you to feel like there's going to be a consistent experience every time and the confidence that you're going to have a really straight, really smooth trip", Stock said. But ultimately, Uber thinks that many riders will prefer opting to walk a bit and wait a bit, since the goal is to ultimately save everyone involved time and frustration.

"Express Pool, in combination with public transit, cycling, car-sharing and more, can help us get towards this shift, and I'm extremely excited about the potential impact this product can have on cities".

Uber, the titan in the ride share business, recently revealed that its losses past year swelled despite signs in the final three months that it was stemming the red ink.

Longer term, Stock said, Uber wants Express to turn into a multi-day, multi-use option for people with limited or incomplete public transportation options. Express Pool is pretty much the same, Uber says, but is more efficient because riders walk to a common route, rather than having a driver circle around. Depending on the route, of course, some Philly riders may find prices on par with a $2.50 SEPTA ride (or less).

Lyft also has a similar service called Shuttle, which it rolled out in San Francisco and Chicago past year. Pool users are typically picked up and dropped off along looping routes with changing arrival times. Rides cost between $3 and $4, which can be up to 75 percent cheaper than a regular Lyft.

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When Ars tried it from one residential neighborhood of Oakland to downtown (just a few miles away), it shaved about $1.50 off of what otherwise would have been a $7 Pool ride or an $8.90 UberX ride.

"The future of transportation in cities includes a shift towards more space-efficient modes of transportation and away from personal vehicle ownership", Zipcar co-founder Robin Chase said in the release. It's also a way for Uber to complete more trips with the same number of drivers.

Uber started piloting Express Pool in San Francisco in November and then quietly launched it there and in Boston in December.

Miami was chosen among the latest crop of launch cities, which also include Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, because Uber POOL is already highly popular with Miami riders, Uber rep Javi Correoso said in an email. Tech should be part of the solution.


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