First rolled out in 2015, UberPOOL allows riders to hop onto someone else’s ride and split the cost—a substantial price reduction from a standard UberX fare, in most cases.
Yet many Uber drivers have been unwelcoming of the service, complaining it forces them to put in more work for the same or less money earned. Sometimes passengers aren’t even going in the same direction, resulting in a much longer trip for the driver—and fewer single (and more lucrative) rides able to be picked up.
In an effort to address some of these concerns, the company has announced a handful of upgrades to the sometimes-problematic service.
“UberPOOL is critical to our mission of reliable transportation,” said Rachel Holt, Uber’s regional general manager of the U.S. and Canada. “We [hadn’t] done enough to provide drivers the same kind of value.”
In the 15 cities where UberPOOL is available, drivers will receive a flat fee that can range from 50 cents to $1 per new pickup. Additionally, Uber rolled out upgrades to its routing algorithm, providing straighter routes to pick up and drop off passengers. The improvements should lead to up to 20% fewer turns, said Uber’s head of driver product, Aaron Schildkrout.
Holt affirmed, “UberPOOL can be more work and more stress. We didn’t feel like this campaign would be complete without [these] changes.”
“[These improvements emphasize] our commitment to building features for the entire rider and driver community,” Schildkrout said.