SAN FRANCISCO—Uber will soon be offering flat-rate rides from San Francisco into the Peninsula and South Bay areas. In an effort to accommodate commuters and expand its business to be more carpool-friendly, a segment of the company is being designated as UberPool.
According a press release from Uber, UberPool has been in beta mode since August 15, 2014. The company decided to have a rolling launch so they could work out “kinks and surprises,” as well as train more drivers and gather feedback from riders about routes and rides.
South Bay commuters will be able to travel to San Francisco for as little as $20-$26, depending on locations ranging from Palo Alto to Mountain View, or San Jose. UberPool also states that with an additional person riders can expect to pay only $10 more.
Commuters can expect UberPool to operate between the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and travel from South Bay or the Peninsula to San Francisco. There has been no mention of whether roundtrip transportation will be available for a similar or equivalent rate. At the moment, only three pre-set routes are being tested to see whether expansions should be made from there.
Since its initial conceptualization in 2014, Uber has stated that they are determined to ease road congestion and make “transportation so inexpensive and reliable, people can actually sell their cars.”
Uber argues that “UberX costs 40 percent less than taxis,” but with UberPool, rides could be an additional 50 percent less than what existing rates are. However, unlike UberX, people who use UberPool will be pre-routed and will not have the potential for Uber drivers to cancel a longer-distanced trip.
If successful, UberPool is expected to make major changes to the way people commute to work in San Francisco and eventually in major metropolitan cities around the world. There have already been discussions by Uber Canada’s General Manager, Ian Black, that UberPool could be expanding in Canada.