UberPool, a real-time carpooling service, launches in beta tomorrow. Along with Lyft Line, these variants on taxi apps are seeking to boost demand for paid rides and change the way people think about commuting and transportation.
Below is a pair of graphics from Uber that explain the system. “On a normal UberX trip,” Uber says, “you take your passenger to their destination and end the trip. Your next fare doesn’t start until another request comes through and you’ve picked up the new passenger.”
But with UberPool, “you’re picking up multiple riders and being paid along the way. You’re collecting a fare from the first pickup through the final dropoff, eliminating the unpaid period spent waiting for another request and traveling to another pickup location,” Uber says.
Here’s a video from Uber explaining what the new system means for drivers:
Uber contends that UberPool “can both lower costs for riders and raise overall earnings for drivers.” Lyft also claims its analogous Lyft Line carpooling service will also be good for both drivers and passengers.
These carpooling systems are just ramping up, so it’ll be a while until we know whether UberPool and Lyft Line are positive developments for drivers that will counterbalance the recent moves to take a greater cut of drivers’ fares.