losangelesnewstoday.com May 26, 2018

Uber targets daily SEPTA commuters with new ride-share option

22 February 2018, 12:49 | Maryann Sutton

Uber may offer its “Express POOL” service as an option at San Francisco International Airport

Uber may offer its “Express POOL” service as an option at San Francisco International Airport

The new rideshare option is a deviation from Uber POOL, which lets riders save a few bucks by allowing drivers to pick up other riders going in the same general direction. By either being asked to wait a few extra minutes before pick-up, and/or to walk to a more convenient pick-up spot nearby.

In addition to having to walk a little prior to the journey, riders will also have to walk a bit at the end of their journey to reach their final destination.

Once the riders are linked together, the app will pick a common location for the users to meet and be picked up. The company's Express Pool service, piloted previous year in San Francisco and Boston, is now available to customers in Los Angeles.

But SEPTA has also noted that rush hour ridership remains strong, suggesting that off-peak rides garner more Uber requests.

That makes it even more comparable to traditional public transit than Uber's Pool service, which launched in 2014 and offers users the opportunity to save on the cost of a ride by picking up other passengers along the way to their destination. Uber estimates that trips with the new system will be around half the price of a Pool ride and up to 75 percent less than the conventional UberX option, in which just one passenger hails a ride to a single destination.

While Uber's new service may sound similar to a bus, the company says there are few key differences.

We're excited that with Express POOL's affordability and consistency, riders can use it every day. Uber told CNN it can charge riders less because it expects seats to be filled, and customers will split the cost of paying for a driver.

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Metro spokesperson Dave Sotero says the agency was not aware of the new Express Pool option.

Uber initially launched as a high-end black auto service in San Francisco in 2009, but over the years it's adapted to the on-demand world.

"People loved the price, but they had mixed feelings about the experience", Stock said of Uber Pool.

The company hopes Express Pool will help it gain even more customers.

"The future of transportation in cities includes a shift towards more space-efficient modes of transportation and away from personal vehicle ownership", Zipcar co-founder Robin Chase said in the release.

Some of the big challenges around making POOL work as created to provide the lowest cost option of Uber's various tiers to the most people possible have been around intelligent routing.

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