The Uber Express ride ends at a spot near the user's destination as chosen by the driver, requiring the user to walk another short distance. In the future, the app might inform a user of the estimated time to their destination but also gives them the option of walking a little bit to a more efficient pickup point for a quicker ride.
Express POOL has been piloting in San Francisco and Boston, and is available in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Denver starting on February 21, and Miami, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. on February 22. "Express POOL, in combination with public transit, cycling, carsharing and more, can help us get towards this shift, and I'm extremely excited about the potential impact this product can have on cities". It's also not as attractive for drivers since they have to drive to various locations to drop off multiple people.
That makes it even more comparable to traditional public transit than Uber's Pool service, which launched in 2014 and offers users the opportunity to save on the cost of a ride by picking up other passengers along the way to their destination.
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Although riders will have to walk to a nearby pickup spot and wait a few minutes prior to the start of the trip, Uber believes these two additional actions will ultimately save drivers and riders time and frustration.
Uber initially launched as a high-end black auto service in San Francisco in 2009, but over the years it's adapted to the on-demand world. The company says Express Pool will be up to 50 percent cheaper than Pool and up to 75 percent cheaper than UberX.
The Express Pool system allows customers to trade the convenience of being picked up wherever they are for a more "consistent experience", says Ethan Stock, director of product for Uber.
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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. The company plans to bring it to more US cities in the coming weeks and months.
Like the existing UberPool service, Express Pool groups multiple riders into one vehicle. If buses or subways are overcrowded and Uber can provide service for a similar price, that will help with mobility.
Even as the company has seen unprecedented growth by expanding to dozens of countries, Uber has been hurt by allegations of executive misconduct, a toxic work atmosphere, and potentially unethical competitive practices. The expansion of Uber Express POOL - and its lower prices - could be Uber's way of tapping into that commuter base.
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