Uber's new ride-sharing option offers big discounts for a short walk

With Express Pool, Uber Offers an Even Cheaper Ride Option

Express Pool works much like UberPool in that it enables riders to share their journeys with others heading in the same general direction for cheaper fares. This will help Uber's algorithm to go through nearby locations, drivers, and other riders to optimise the route by covering the shortest distance possible, so that a higher number of riders can benefit. Once you're connected with your route, the app will map your walk to meet your driver (probably one or two blocks), who will then pick you up and then drop off a few people on the way before finally leaving you one or two blocks away from your final destination.

The company says the service has been tested in San Francisco and Boston; it is also available in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Denver as of Wednesday. When you request Express Pool, Uber notifies you of the location to walk to for your ride.

Figures reported by The Information and confirmed by AFP showed that Uber's losses in 2017 grew to $4.5 billion from the $2.8 billion the San Francisco-based firm lost a year earlier. "By spending that little waiting time up front, while you're finishing getting ready and trying to get out the door, we can find the right driver for you and your drive will be faster than a regular Pool ride is today".

While Uber's new service may sound similar to a bus, the company says there are few key differences.

And, as of Wednesday, it's officially adding a new service to its roster that'll cater to people who don't want to spend a lot of money: a low-priced carpool service called Express Pool.

What makes Express Pool so cheap compared to the standard Pool and UberX options is that it utilizes pickup points, where users are expected to walk, to offer fares discounted by at least 50 percent.

"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.

Stock said the system should work well with public transit, providing first-mile and last-mile service for transit riders and by providing service to low passenger volume areas where its not cost effective for public transit to serve. Uber told CNN it can charge riders less because it expects seats to be filled, and customers will split the cost of paying for a driver. The company plans to bring it to more USA cities in the coming weeks and months.

"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".

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