Uber looks to get commuters out of their personal cars with new fixed route option
You hail an Uber for a night out on the town. But to get to work, you're probably still driving a car.
Now, Uber's widening an experiment to get your personal car out of the picture.
On Tuesday, the San Francisco-based ride-hailing app service is launching its "commute" option in Toronto. The feature, which also recently came to Seattle and Chicago in various forms, lets people hop on with Uber drivers that travel predetermined routes during rush hour.
The fixed routes means riders may walk more on either end, but they get the benefit of lower fares - $5 one-way in Toronto. Uber makes up the difference by packing several people into a car. During rush hour, it also provides the side benefit of enabling Uber potentially to fulfill more rides than its drivers could handle on individual trips.
"With uberHOP, we hope that Torontonians will rely more on ridesharing and less on their personal vehicles to help reduce traffic congestion in our city," Uber said in a blog post.
Congestion aside, commute features are designed to get Uber's millions of users more engaged with the app. It's the same reason Uber has its drivers delivering meals from popular restaurants and is considering other services such as carpooling that would appeal to consumers. The company must maximize both the time that its drivers are earning an income and the amount of times users open Uber. The new option gets the world's most valuable startup on that road.
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