In 2014 when Uber launched POOL, we had the vision of getting more people into fewer cars. It meant that rides could be more affordable than uberX for passengers, and over time, cities could be less congested and polluted. While it was a big bet at the time, riders have now chosen to share nearly a billion rides with POOL.
With any new product, there’s a lot to learn. For instance, riders love the affordability of POOL, but are less excited about the unpredictability that sharing can bring. Using this feedback, we built the next generation of shared rides from the ground up.
The result is Express POOL, where riders wait a few minutes before their trips begin, and then walk a short distance to a nearby spot for pick up and drop off. Walking and waiting help us make more optimal matches and provide better, straighter, faster routes with fewer detours, delivering an even more affordable and consistent option than POOL to consumers.
If available in your city, you’ll see Express POOL next to POOL in the app. Once requested, we’ll spend the next few minutes selecting the most compatible co-riders and a driver nearby, and the best spot for pickup within a few blocks of your location. When your ride details are finalized, we’ll give you walking directions and the ETA to pick up so you know when and where to meet your driver and co-riders. Once in the car, you can sit back and enjoy the straighter, faster trip that walking and waiting enables. As you near the end of your trip, we’ll choose a drop off spot, notify you, and provide walking directions for the last few blocks to your final destination.
“In keeping with #3 of the Shared Mobility Principles, the future of transportation in cities includes a shift towards more space-efficient modes of transportation and away from personal car ownership. Express POOL, in combination with public transit, cycling, carsharing and more, can help us get towards this shift, and I’m extremely excited about the potential impact this product can have on cities.” — Robin Chase, co-founder of Zipcar
We’re excited that with Express POOL’s affordability and consistency, riders can use it every day. Looking beyond this launch, we’re even more excited about future opportunities to integrate Express POOL and other transportation options to complement and extend the reach of public transit, and to help cities work better.
Express POOL has been piloting in San Francisco and Boston, and is available in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Denver starting on February 21, and Miami, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. on February 22. This is just the start: we’ll be bringing Express POOL to more cities soon!