Uber’s Express Pool service is rolling out to several major US cities this week.
Uber is rolling out a new ride-sharing service that’ll cut the normal fare by over 50 percent. The catch? You’re going to have to do some walking.
Uber Express Pool functions somewhat like a bus service, relying on pick-up and drop-off locations. Need a ride? The new service will group you with other passengers headed in the same direction and arrange a nearby pick-up spot where you all jump in.
On the upside, Express Pool will be cheap. A two-mile ride that normally costs $12 through UberX can now cost as little as $5 on Express Pool (or about $2 to $3 cheaper than Uber Pool). But the discount comes at the expense of time.
Like a bus, the car won’t bring you to your exact destination. It’ll drop you a few blocks away. Whenever you request a ride through Express Pool, you’ll also have to wait a few minutes so Uber can calculate a carpooling route and find compatible co-riders.
“Walking and waiting help us make more optimal matches and provide better, straighter, faster routes with fewer detours,” Uber said on Wednesday.
The company has been piloting the service in San Francisco and Boston. But starting today, the service will be available in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Denver. On Thursday, it’s coming to Miami, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
“This is just the start: we’ll be bringing Express Pool to more cities soon,” the company added.
Uber isn’t the first to offer a carpooling service with designated pick-up and drop-off locations. Rival Lyft has its own called Shuttle, which also offers cheap fares. However, news of it triggered jokes and criticism over how Lyft was offering a bus-like service that would compete with public transit systems. Lyft Shuttle is available in Chicago and San Francisco.