If you’ve used Uber before you’ll be familiar with uberPool, the lower-cost version of where you may end up sharing with another rider who is heading in the same direction as yourself. The upside of uberPool was that you could often take a risk and never even receive a shared ride.
Recently, in New York, with an Uber ride from JFK to Brooklyn coming in at a ridiculous price due to the bad weather, we opted for uberPool and saved almost a third of the price. Luckily, the drive didn’t pick up another rider, making it a discounted way of travelling via a taxi. But, it’s not guaranteed. We’ve also had Uber journies
This is all about to change. Uber is doing away with the poor matching, where you end up going way out of your way simply because someone is also headed towards a similar direction as yourself, but potentially in another area in town.
Uber Express Pool will match users more closely, meaning the ride is a lot more direct with fewer detours. The downside is that the days of securing a cheaper Uber Pool by yourself is gone and you will very likely be matched on every ride. However, instead of being 30% cheaper Express Pool will be as much as 75% less than a regular Uber! Now that’s a saving, putting the service in line with taking a bus journey.
With the new Express Pool, you will simply request your car as usual and then wait while the app connects you to the driver and potential shared riders. However, you will now have to walk to a meetup point, which can be up to 2 blocks away. Then on the way, there will be 1-3 other people who will be dropped off, and you may no longer get dropped off exactly at your destination, with again, up to a 2 block walk. Not ideal if it’s raining or you have lots of luggage, but for the price, we can’t complain.
The new service will still be affected by Uber’s notorious surge pricing and you will still have the option of using all the other Uber Services, including the standard uberPool where you will get dropped off and picked up at more precise locations, without the need to walk to a pickup point.
Express Pool has been tested in San Francisco and Boston in the last few weeks with success. Now the service has been rolled out across Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego, Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Denver.
If you have shopping bags rather than luggage and do not mind the pickup point walk, which by European standards is extremely short, we highly recommend trying out Express Pool. Just be sure to request Express Pool it plenty of time and not rely on it to get you somewhere in a hurry.