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What is UberPool?

Remember back in the 80s and 90s when HOV lanes started popping up in large cities, the proposed solution to traffic congestion and air pollution? Well, think of UberPool as Uber’s version of that.

Uber’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, described Uberpool as the way to “cut congestion, pollution, and parking by getting more people into fewer cars.” As the self-proclaimed future of transportation, Uber is attempting to make even greater strides in the way it changes riding and driving for people all over the world.

Uber’s carpooling service, UberPool, and Lyft’s comparable service, Lyft Line, are gaining popularity among drivers and riders. But maybe you haven’t quite figured this whole thing out yet and have questions. Have no fear, we’re here to answer your questions and let you know exactly how you can take advantage of these services if you so choose.

What It Means For Your Drive or Ride

Hyrecar - How Does Uberpool Work

Hyrecar - How Does Uberpool Work

First, let’s talk about the simple logistics of how UberPool (or Lyft Line) works in comparison with the traditional service of UberX or Lyft.

For Drivers

If you’re wondering if UberPool is optional for you like it is for riders, the answer is no. You will get pinged for UberPool rides and UberX rides regardless of your preference.

Now, you’re certainly welcome to decline an UberPool request. You just need to weigh the consequences of that. Uber no longer deactivates drivers with low acceptance rates, but they do give “time-outs” if you ignore a few consecutive requests. I don’t know that it’s worth it to lose money and opportunity simply to avoid UberPool, but that’s your call.

This means that if you accept a rider using UberPool, you may be pinged with a ride request while already in the process of picking up or driving that passenger to his/her destination. Uber has a helpful video for drivers that explains exactly how this ends up working.

You can accept or decline this offer – it is up to you. If you decline, know that it may affect your acceptance ratings. If you accept, be sure to explain to your current passenger that you are picking up an additional passenger and may add a few extra minutes to their commute.

For Riders

You now have the option of requesting a shared ride using the UberPool service (if it’s available in your city) for a discounted rate. This discount is anywhere from 20 to 60% less than a regular ride, depending on surge. There is a limit of 2 riders.

Hyrecar - How Does Uberpool Work

Hyrecar - How Does Uberpool Work

A few things to know:

  • Passengers are not dropped off in order of pick up, so you may not be dropped off first, even if you were picked up first. Instead, the most expedient route will be used for all passengers.
  • Your app will show you the locations of other riders, pick up, and drop off locations. Uber’s goal is to match riders based on proximity, so you should never go too far out of your way.
  • As a courtesy to other riders, drivers will only wait for 2 minutes before moving on. Please be sure you are ready and waiting when they arrive.
  • Because other riders are involved, and you are being charged a guaranteed fare, you cannot change your destination once your ride is accepted.

If time is a factor at all, it is recommended that get an UberX ride instead.

For both drivers and riders, Lyft Line works similarly, although Lyft Line claims up to a 60% discount for passengers, which is more than Uber. We’ll get into the potential cost benefits of carpooling during ridesharing soon.

When Does UberPool Work Best For Both Drivers and Passengers

Hyrecar - How Does Uberpool Work