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Helping you to understand UberPool fares and earnings

October 17, 2018 / Sydney

We’ve put together this blog post to make it easier for you to understand how the UberPool service fee works.

Here are the 4 key things you need to know:

  1. UberPool is structured to help keep your earnings as close as possible to an equivalent trip with UberX.
  2. UberPool offers lower prices for riders than UberX to encourage more riders to take more trips.
  3. We recommend using the in-app navigation for trips with UberPool, so your pickups and dropoffs will be updated in real time.
  4. It is very rare that the upfront fare will be adjusted for trips with UberPool.

UberPool fares and earnings explained

The UberPool service fee is calculated on each trip segment, so that the earnings for the entire trip match that of an equivalent trip with UberX as closely as possible.

Here’s how it works:

  1. When you accept a trip request, you’ll see the upfront fare and service fee for that pickup.
  2. If you get a second pickup request, you’ll see the upfront fare and service fee for that pickup once the trip request is accepted.
  3. At the end of your trip, your overall earnings will be the earnings for each trip segment added together, minus any other charges that may apply.

Earnings for each trip segment will be the fare for that segment minus the service fee that applies to that segment.

Earnings you make with UberPool can be understood in a similar way to earnings you make with UberX. That is:

UberX earnings calculations

Fare – service fee = earnings

However, because most trips with UberPool involve multiple pickups and dropoffs, the fares and earnings for these trips work a little differently than trips with UberX.

UberPool earnings calculations

Upfront fare for pickup 1 – service fee for pickup 1 = earnings for pickup 1

Upfront fare for pickup 2 – service fee for pickup 2 = earnings for pickup 2

Then, we add the earnings from pickup 1 and pickup 2 together to get the total earnings for this UberPool trip.  

To encourage more trips with UberPool, we apply additional discounts for riders

When you accept a trip request with UberPool, your rider may have a promotional discount applied to the upfront price of the trip. These discounts are only applied to the rider’s upfront price, and will not be applied to your earnings.

Low prices for riders encourage them to take more trips with UberPool, helping to give you more opportunities to earn.  

Upfront fare adjustments are not made for most trips with UberPool

With UberX, when a trip changes significantly, the fare will automatically be adjusted to reflect the actual time and distance travelled using your city’s current rates.

On the other hand, riders cannot change their destination with UberPool, so routes rarely change mid-trip. As a result, fares are rarely adjusted for UberPool trips.

Detours that are made to pick up additional riders who are requesting in app are accounted for in the service fee, which is varied for each trip segment. This is factored in when the upfront fare is calculated at the beginning of your trip, to make sure you receive similar earnings or better than an equivalent UberX trip.

The upfront fare and service fee you see in the app will all be reflected on your weekly payment statement.

For more information on service fees, and to see some example trips, check out our blog post on UberPool service fees.

Using the in-app navigation is important

Although you are free to use the navigation app of your choice, we recommend using the Uber app’s navigation because it will automatically add in new pickups and dropoffs in real time. This creates a smoother pickup and dropoff experience than other navigation systems, which may require you to add stops yourself.    

It’s also important to pick up and drop off riders as close as possible to  locations the in-app navigation suggests, as the service fee for each trip segment is calculated assuming that riders will be dropped off and picked up at those locations.

What if a rider asks to be dropped off somewhere else?

If a rider asks to be dropped off or picked up in a different location than the app recommends, you might like to remind them that this is an UberPool trip, which has multiple pickups and dropoffs and specific pickup and dropoff locations. With UberPool, riders cannot change their destination mid-trip.  

We have been letting riders know what to expect, and what’s expected of them when they request a ride with UberPool, and are continuously looking for new ways to educate them on how UberPool works and how to be a 5-star rider.   

The UberPool service fee helps keep earnings similar to UberX  

UberPool is designed to help you earn the same or more than the equivalent trip with UberX. Trips with UberPool that have more than one pickup will give you more earnings overall, on average. To help achieve earnings similar to UberX, we need to vary the service fee for each pickup, or trip segment. Here’s how it works.

The minimum possible service fee is 5%

The lowest service fee we apply is 5% – we lowered it from 11% on September 28 as a result of your feedback, to improve earnings on single pick up trips with UberPool.

The maximum possible service fee is 45%. You’ll see examples below of a range of service fees being applied.  

How the service fee works

Most trips with UberPool involve multiple pickups and dropoffs, with a different service fee applied to each trip segment. This is because with UberPool, we try to match your earnings on the equivalent UberX trip, taking into account the service fee that is usually applied to your UberX trips.

The service fee for the first pickup on a trip with UberPool will normally be the lowest, with the service fees for any additional pickups varying based on things like how many riders are picked up and how much of the trip has multiple riders.

Single pickup trips with UberPool

When you receive your first trip request with UberPool, the service fee will be calculated so that your earnings match an equivalent trip on UberX as closely as possible. Now that the minimum possible service fee is 5%, this will be the case for most trips on UberPool.

Single pickup trip example

A driver-partner receives an UberX trip request with a fare of $10. With a service fee of 27.5%, the driver-partner would earn $7.25 on this trip, assuming there are no significant detours or heavy traffic.

Fare: $10
Service fee: 27.5% ($2.75)
Driver-partner earns: $7.25

Now imagine that the rider requests UberPool instead. The trip has the same route, but the upfront fare is $9 because riders may need to walk and wait and will likely be taken out of their way to pick up another rider.

The service fee is then adjusted from 27.5% to 19.44% so that the driver-partner earns a similar amount to the equivalent trip on UberX.    

UberPool Upfront fare: $9
Service fee: 19.44% ($1.75)
Driver-partner earns: $7.25  

Now imagine a similar trip in terms of the origin, destination, time and distance. This trip would have had a $10 fare on UberX, but it’s an UberPool request in an area and at a time of day with a lot of ride requests. This means it’s likely that there will be multiple pickups on this trip.

The upfront fare for this trip with UberPool is $7.00, so we reduce the service fee to the minimum possible service fee, 5%.

UberPool upfront fare: $7
Service fee: 5% ($0.35)
Driver-partner earns: $6.65

It’s not always possible to match the earnings of an equivalent trip with UberX exactly. However, now that the minimum possible service fee is 5%, in most cases, a single pickup trip with UberPool will have earnings similar to an equivalent trip with UberX.

For 95% of all trips with UberPool taken in Sydney and Melbourne between September 23 and October 12 , driver-partners were paid the same or more than the equivalent trip with UberX.

Multi-pickup trips with UberPool

If a trip with UberPool is matched with a second pickup, a second service fee, usually higher than the first, is calculated for that trip segment.

Multiple-pickup trip example

Now, let’s look at an example with multiple pickups.

Pickup #1
UberPool UberX
UberPool upfront fare 1: $7 UberX fare for same trip segment: $10
Service fee: 5% ($0.35) Service fee: 27.5% ($2.75)
Driver-partner earns:

$7-$0.35

=$6.65

Driver-partner earns:

$10-$2.75

=$7.25

Because the pickup is at a busy time in a busy area, a second rider is matched with this trip. In this simplistic example, no detours were required to pickup the second rider, and both riders were going to the exact same destination. Because of this, the driver fare for this entire trip with UberX would still be $10.

Pickup #2
UberPool
Pickup 2: UberPool upfront fare: $8
Pickup 2: Service fee: 45% ($3.60)
Pickup 2: Driver-partner earns:

$8-$3.60

= $4.40

UberPool UberX
Total amount of the upfront fare for pickups #1 and #2: $15 Total amount of the fare for the entire trip: $10
Service fee 26.33% ($3.95) Service Fee: 27.5% ($2.75)
Driver-partner earns:

$15-$3.95

= $11.05

Driver-partner earns:

$10-$2.75

= $7.25

The whole trip on UberX would have a driver fare of $10.00 before the service fee of 27.5% was applied, which means the driver would earn $7.25 for that trip.

In contrast, the driver would earn $11.05 for the equivalent trip on UberPool.

What you’ll see in the app

  • When you accept an UberPool trip request, you’ll see the upfront fare and the service fee.
  • If another rider gets added to the trip, you will also be able to see the upfront fare and service fees for each additional request.
  • At the end of the trip, you will see your total earnings for the entire trip with UberPool (including all the trip segments) and the overall service fee for that entire trip.

Most trips with UberPool have more than 1 pickup

Across Sydney and Melbourne, the majority of trips with UberPool have more than 1 pick up.

On average, you will earn the same or more than the equivalent trip with UberX for these shared trips. For any trip with UberPool, the more overlap there is between different trip segments, the higher the possibility for more earnings.

Follow the link below to visit the FAQ page and learn more about how UberPool works.