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Uber adds driver-side improvements to uberPOOL

Darrell Etherington

Uber has added a number of new improvements to the driver experience for uberPOOL, its shared  on-demand carpooling device, as part of its ongoing '180 Days of Change' initiative. This is 'Chapter 4' of the program in terms of how Uber is rolling it out, and its' designed to help drivers earn more using the POOL option, while also enjoying a less stressful experience, according to Uber.

This biggest shift from an earnings standpoint is that uberPOOL drivers will now earn a flat additional fare on top of previous ones for every pickup stop added to the trip. This will translate to more earning power, instead of just the chained duration for new distance of the trip.

Also, Uber is making an effort to better inform riders what to expect, where to meet and how to use uberPOOL, since it's hoping that rider education will help decrease the most stressful aspects of the trips for drivers. Uber is also shifting the ratings system to the end of the POOL trip to give drivers additional time and privacy when rating riders, and drivers can provide a reason for rating a rider less than five stars with just one tap for additional feedback. This info will help Uber provide directed feedback to riders to improve the experience.

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As Uber had revealed before, poor ratings on the driver side that are due to factors outside a driver control, including too many pickups, won't count towards their overall rating.

Uber is also rethinking its POOL routing, with routes that will now involve as many as 20 percent fewer turns with effort made to run them as straight as possible. This will save both in terms of stress and fuel costs, Uber says.

Uber will also start detecting restricted zones within the app and directing pickups and drop-offs to alternate spots. I've actually personally been in an Uber that was routed to a pickup at a no stopping zone which resulted in a ticket for the driver, so I'm sure this will be a welcome change.