Uber is formally launching a new type of carpooling service. It’s called Express Pool and it’s Uber’s first new product in three years. After a lengthy trial period that kicked off in San Francisco last November, it’s finally expanding to more cities. Starting today, it’s coming to DC, LA, Miami, Philadelphia, San Diego and Denver. More cities will be added over the next few weeks and months across the U.S.
This new ride option will be the cheapest offered by Uber. Instead of providing door-to-door service, Uber’s new “Express Pool” product asks app users to walk a block or two to a meeting spot. That way drivers don’t have to navigate smaller streets, or go too much off route. Riders might also be dropped off a block or so away from their destination, speeding up the ride for others.
If you’re in one of the few cities when Express Pool is available you should already see the option in your app. Fares are as much as 50 percent cheaper than your standard shared Pool ride, and up to 75 percent compared to UberX fares. That’s some significant savings, just for walking a few blocks.
This is actually something that ride-sharing service Via has been doing for a while. Some short trips can cost as low as $5 with Via (they have a $20 credit offer right now), which operates in New York City, Chicago, and Washington, DC. I usually find Via to be much cheaper in NYC. But, once Uber Express Pool is launched in the city, I suspect rides might get even cheaper.