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'Carpooling at scale': Why Uber is letting you share rides again

·Senior Reporter
·2 min read
In this article:
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TORONTO — Uber (UBER) on Tuesday re-launched Uber Pool, now as UberX Share — and it's just the beginning of the company's busy summer plans.

“It’s really gonna start a summer of launches for us… [and] there’s a lot more we’re excited about in reserve,” said Andrew Macdonald, Uber SVP of Mobility and Business Operations, at the Collision Conference in Toronto.

Uber’s spending its summer reaching into a deluge of new areas for the company.

He defines UberX Share is “carpooling at scale enabled by technology" and told the crowd it's the right time for a re-launch — with safety measures in place, including (for now) limiting shares to two riders at a time.

WASHINGTON, DC - APR 4:  UberX driver, Michael Belet, checks the Uber customer app to see where other Uber drivers are working so he can determine where the best place for him to get fares might be, April 7, 2014, in Washington, DC. Thousands of local car owners have signed up in recent months to drive with one of the
WASHINGTON, DC - APR 4: UberX driver, Michael Belet, checks the Uber customer app to see where other Uber drivers are working so he can determine where the best place for him to get fares might be, April 7, 2014, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

In March 2020, Uber suspended Uber Pool in response to the pandemic. Though Uber started bringing back shared rides last year with a pilot in Miami, Tuesday's announcement marks the moment where pooled rides are available widely on the app.

As Macdonald describes it, UberX Share is meant to be a choice for consumers interested in sustainability, affordability, or both. He also characterized it as a plus for drivers.

“As a driver, your whole goal is to be as utilized as possible," Macdonald told the crowd. "UberX Share increases the number of paying customers in your car.”

The launch fits into Uber's longer-term goals.

“Our goal is to make Uber a daily use case for people” he said, adding that the way to do that is by offering more options to consumers.

“Every part of transportation is still so broken, and there’s huge opportunity for Uber to bring value," said Macdonald.

Allie Garfinkle is a senior tech reporter at Yahoo Finance. Find her on twitter @agarfinks.

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