By now, you’ve probably experienced, or at least heard of, the many perks of using Uber. After all, more than 50 million riders have taken more than 2 billion rides (as of June 2016). But do you know about uberPOOL, which lets you share your ride—and split the cost—with other riders who are taking a similar route? Check out these five benefits of choosing uberPOOL the next time you’re heading out somewhere.
After selecting uberPOOL within the app and inputting your pick-up location and destination as usual, you are matched up with up to three other riders in total and each person will save as much as 40% compared to a standard uberX fare (which is already typically significantly cheaper than a standard taxi). There’s more good news—in general, it adds less than five minutes to your trip. Time is money, after all, right?
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Global warming is caused largely by the emission of greenhouse gases, which is primarily made up of carbon dioxide (C02) created when fossil fuels are burned. The Environmental Protection Agency found passenger vehicles in the United States released 1,100.7 teragrams of C02 into the atmosphere in 2014 . Carpooling with uberPOOL helps to reduce the amount of cars on the road and, as a result, the amount of C02 emissions.
In fact, carpooling half of the month to work can save nearly 1,400 pounds of CO2 per year, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission online calculator, which is based on a daily 30-mile round trip commute five days a week in a small SUV with current average gas prices in San Francisco.
Besides CO2, cars also emit carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and fine particulate matter. Breathing too much of these in can cause a variety of respiratory problems and other health issues including decreased lung capacity, coughing, inflamed breathing passages, and headaches, according to the Washington State Department of Ecology. You can significantly lower your contribution to the above by opting to take along a fellow rider or two.
Cut Down on Traffic Congestion
One 2014 study revealed that there are an excess of 252 million vehicles in operation on the road these days in the United States. It’s no wonder, then, the severe traffic conditions taking place every day in cities across the country. Carpooling with a service like uberPOOL gets more cars off the road and as a result, lets everyone reach where they’re going just a little bit quicker.
Meet New People
It’s common to hear about how hard it is to meet new people, but whoever said that must have never taken uberPOOL. And since the other riders are traveling in a similar direction as you, you’ll already have something in common to talk about. So the next time you use Uber, turn an otherwise solitary experience into a social one and use uberPOOL.