Uber has launched a new service that lowers the costs of riding for customers who are willing to walk to and from designated locations. Passengers must walk a short distance to a pickup intersection. They are then dropped off at another designated spot, close to their final destination. Customers appreciate the cost savings of normal ride-sharing, but many would like the benefits that come with having designated pickup and drop off locations. Walking and waiting help us make more optimal matches and provide better, straighter, faster routes with fewer detours.
Uber has made their new Express Pool option available in Boston and San Francisco. Along with this, it will be available in Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Denver, San Diego and Washington D.C. The new service comes at a time when urban transit systems across the country have been feeling increasing pressure, with overcrowding on board, a rash of high-profile train crashes and derailments, bus crashes, and unrelenting traffic congestion. However, car-sharing services like Uber and Lyft actually have not helped relieve traffic congestion, according to a study.
Further, many riders in the Boston area moved from public transit use to Uber, the report indicates, thus taking away revenue from the local commuter systems. Also of note is the finding that the drivers appeared to make less on carpools than on single-person rides. The survey did not include questions about the new Express Pool service. Moving to increased ride-sharing is a good model if it removes excess vehicles from the street and reduces travel time by moving more riders to a larger street.