Uber has been around for a while now. It's a great way to get where you're going and save a few bucks along the way - especially if you're willing to share your ride. Here's what Uber Pool is and how it works.
Uber Pool lets you reduce the cost of a trip but it comes with two conditions.
- You may have to share your ride with some other people
- Getting to your destination may take a little longer than expected
When you launch the Uber app and enter your destination, you'll have to option to choose between Uber Pool, UberX and various other options depending on where you are and the time of day.
If you choose Uber Pool, the service will match you up with a driver and other passengers that are heading your way. Because the cost of the ride is shared between you and the other passengers, you pay a little less. But the fare isn't evenly divided.
Over several trips in Sydney and Melbourne, the price for Uber Pool was about 20-25% less than the usual UberX fare. And, although it as less expensive, I've only had to share my ride about half the time. However, reports from the US suggest that when you choose Uber Pool there, it's almost certain you'll be sharing the car.
Also, it's possible you may need to take a short walk from your preferred pick up point to one that's a little easier for the driver. For example, on a late night trip in Sydney, I had to walk to a nearby corner so the driver didn't have to deviate up a narrow street. And on another trip, I needed to walk from a building in the Melbourne CBD to a nearby hotel. But none of those walks were longer than a minute or two.
Depending on where the other passengers are going, you may find your trip takes a little longer than planned. For example, an Uber Pool trip I took this week was about 10 minutes longer, taking into account a slightly longer wait time as another rider was being picked up and because of a stop.
As long as you plan ahead, Uber Pool is a good way to save a few bucks.