Now that its legal fiasco with Waymo has come to a close, it's time to focus on other, more important things — like a new ride service that's going to save people a lot of money. It's called Express Pool, a new variant of Uber's carpooling service that involves a little bit of walking.
UberPool has long been one of the company's most popular services, and it's not hard to see why: it's cheap, simple, and straightforward. The only people who probably dislike this option are Uber drivers themselves because of the stress related to fetching, carrying, and dropping off multiple passengers in different locations.
Here's How Uber Express Pool Works
Express Pool tries to solve that woe.
Basically, it works like this: passengers select the new Express Pool option when plotting their rides. The app will ask them to wait a minute or two, longer than usual to find compatible riders within proximity. During this additional time, Uber's sophisticated rider-matching algorithm determines the best matches. Once it finishes doing that, it'll ask the passengers to walk a few blocks toward their pickup location, where they'll most likely meet the other passengers matched for the same ride.
During the matching process, the algorithm tries to find passengers who are headed to the same general area as the original rider — emphasis on "general." This is an important point to make, because in an Express Pool ride, the driver will only drop off passengers within walking distance to their destination — not in the exact location they wish to be dropped off. It's a small sacrifice to make for what appears to be huge savings — an Express Pool ride is up to 50 percent cheaper than UberPool and 75 percent less costly than an UberX ride.
Uber Express Pool Testing
Uber has been testing Express Pool in cities such as San Francisco and Boston since a couple of months ago, as TechCrunch reported back in November. Before that, Uber was asking New York City passengers to walk to pickup locations in Manhattan. It appears Uber is pleased with the results of those experiments, so it's expanding the testing to several other cities like Miami, San Diego, Denver, and others.
"Looking beyond this launch, we're even more excited about future opportunities to integrate Express POOL and other transportation options to complement and extend the reach of public transit, and to help cities work better," the company said in a press release.
You'll find the Express Pool option in the app if it's available in your city.