What is uberPool?
As a service, uberPool is essentially an extension of UberX.
As the title implies; uberPool uses Uber’s ride sharing app, but works like an ordinary carpool you might set up with work colleagues to mitigate the cost of commuting. uberPOOL is a way for Uber’s rideshare drivers to pick-up passengers twice within the parameters of one trip.
uberPOOL allows Uber drivers to make more money in less time, and allows riders to pay less money for the same trip (without sacrificing the quality, speed, and convenience associated with Uber’s services).
When driving for UberX, a driver can only take one passenger at a time.
For drivers, this creates a substantial gap between the time you’re actually being paid to drive for Uber, and the time when you’re just waiting to be paid to drive for Uber.
uberPOOL seeks to reduce that gap; mitigating the overall cost to Uber customers and increasing the value of the ride for drivers.
The very good news about UberPool is: once you sign up as an Uber Pool driver, you’ll be able to pick up a steady stream of passengers (all heading in the same direction), lowering your waiting times between fares and keeping up a steady stream of in-bound revenue.
And — as an Uber driver, you don’t need to do anything special to qualify for UberPool.
Just drive for UberX (the way you normally do), and UberPool Pick-Up Requests will automatically pop-up on your Driver App screen when there are nearby passengers requesting the service.
It’s up to you wether or not you accept uberPool requests. It’s that simple.
An uberPOOL pick up starts like any other UberX pickup —
- An alert appears on the driver’s screen. The driver simply has to tap the ‘alert-circle’ within a certain amount of time to formally accept the pickup.
- The coordinates are then mapped, via GPS, to the rider’s location.
The major difference with Uber POOL is as follows —
- At anytime during an ongoing uberPOOL ride (i.e., the time between accepting the first passenger-request, and dropping off that rider) the driver may get a second request to pick-up an additional rider.
By default, that second rider’s location will be located on the way to the first rider’s drop-off point (i.e., allowing for only minor re-routing).
uberPOOL drivers may sometimes have to make a slight detour to pick up secondary riders, but detour will always be minor (minimally affecting the length of the ride).
Once the secondary rider is picked up; their final destination will be automatically added to the current route.
The driver is paid for all parts of this trip — including re-routing.
Drop-off is determined by the distance of the rider’s destination (and not which rider hailed the UberPool first). Put simply: UberPool is not a ‘first-come-first-serve’ situation.
UberPool will dynamically re-route drop-off destinations for uberPOOL drivers once both riders are in the car.
In other words, it’s totally possible that the second rider is the first passenger dropped off (if their destination is closer). This system is the most efficient, and benefits both riders and drivers alike.
uberPOOL’s fare rates are the lowest of all Uber’s car services, and can often reach up to 50% off regular UberX trips. The regular rates for UberPool are determined the same way as UberX’s fares:
Base Fare + Per-Minute Fare + Per-Mile Fare + ‘Safe Ride Fee’.
Surge pricing is consistent across both services — in other words, rider-demand affects prices exactly the same way, whether you’re taking an UberPool or an UberX ride.
The difference is; the overall cost to an UberPool rider is ultimately reduced (because they are now effectively ‘splitting the fare’ between two passengers). The good news for driver is — since you’re paid for the total time spent picking up additional passengers, you’re constantly collecting fares (in a way that you aren’t if you’re simply driving in a normal UberX situation).
A final note on rates, for riders:
In the event that you are not ”matched” with another UberPool passenger during your Pool trip, you will still always receive a minimum 20% discount, as compared to regular UberX services. And, in certain cities (like Manhattan), your UberPool ride will never exceed a total cost of $10.
Driving for uberPOOL:
Because uberPOOL is an extension of the already-existing UberX service, there are no new requirement for cars (or drivers) that you need to be aware of.
If you’re already qualified for UberX… you’re all set to drive for Uber Pool. This is good for riders too. It means you can expect the same level of quality from a reduced-fare UberPool ride as you would from an individual UberX ride. The only difference — paying less money for your trip, and having a little company on your trip.
uberPOOL has a maximum of 2 pickups per ride. You’ll only ever be asked to pickup a secondary rider, that’s the limit. Each rider is rated separately by the driver. This will come up in your fare summary.
When driving for UberPOOL, it is important to note that efficiency is key to making Pool an effective service. When making your first pick up, like with UberX, it’s okay to give the rider some leeway (i.e., giving them a call if they’re not in the right spot; waiting five minutes for them to exit their apartment building, etc). But, because of UberPool’s second-passenger functionality (i.e., your second pickup is often already in your car), you have to be extra efficient when picking-up secondary passengers.
This means that you should always call your secondary pickup after just one minute of waiting, and if the pickup takes longer than two minutes (or actually changes their location), you should cancel the ride.
Remember: there is no time to waste.
It’s important as a rideshare driver to keep your eye on the rate you will ultimately be providing for your riders. An inefficient detour (or an elongated wait for a second passenger) could potentially mean a drop in stars for your driver-rating, and Uber has very high standards when it comes to their ratings-system (under 4.6 stars is grounds for suspension).
It’s also important to note that your riders cannot change their destination when driving with Uber Pool. This is, again, to ensure efficiency and fairness to secondary riders.