Uber to re-launch their shared ride service in some major U.S. cities
Uber is restarting cheaper part rides in major cities, including NYC, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago, after being suspended at the start of the pandemic
- Uber ended ride-sharing in March 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Ride sharing option is now available in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix, San Diego, Portland, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh
- The service that allows strangers and co-workers to ride together will be available in more cities this summer
- Uber promises customers special discounted rates for choosing the ride-share option
Uber plans to bring shared rides back to some major U.S. cities following the March 2020 service interruption – the start of the pandemic.
The ride-sharing service, also known as the UberX Share option, is now available in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix, San Diego, Portland, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh, the company announced Tuesday. More cities will be added in the summer.
Lyft also suspended ridesharing in March 2020, but it restarted the option for riders in Miami and Philadelphia last year.
Uber said it understands the importance of affordability “in the current economic climate” as the average price of gas in the US was just under $5 a gallon.
The ride-share company said it was trying to “break down” car ownership — while offering customers new savings.
“Offering more affordable products is not only good for customers, it also helps build an ecosystem of affordable, multimodal transportation,” Andrew Macdonald, Uber’s senior vice president of Mobility and Business Operations, said in the announcement.
UberX Share drivers can expect an advance discount for choosing the service and 20% off their ride if their driver picks up a colleague along the way, the company said.
To avoid delays, the ride service will only pick up or drop off customers along the same route and guarantee them only eight minutes later than a regular Uber ride.
Uber resumes its ride-share service in some major US cities after the service shutdown in March 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic
The company gives drivers the option to opt out of the ride-share service. Masks for passengers remain optional.
Uber is proceeding cautiously, limiting one person per request to a shared ride.
The announcement comes months after Uber enforced a surcharge of $0.45 cents, or $0.55 cents per Uber ride, to offset rising gasoline costs for drivers in March.
The company announced the launch of ride-sharing on Twitter, but received response from commentators
Some commentators claimed that ride-share was not missed by drivers
Other commenters said they won’t use the feature if masks aren’t required
But while some riders may welcome the deal, many took to social media to hit back at the company.
“Drivers have never wanted this mess,” one Twitter user responded to Uber’s announcement on the social media platform.
Another added: ‘If masks aren’t mandatory…that’s a NO to me.’