Uber launches carpool service
UBER has upped the ante in the on-demand ride-sharing business as it announced the launching of a carpool service in Metro Manila to combat worsening traffic.
Uber said the service, dubbed uberHOP, will be initially available for people traveling between Makati City and Bonifacio Global City. UberHOP will be available only on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and then from 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.
For this pilot test, the introductory fee is a flat rate of P75 per passenger although the ride can be shared by as many as six riders on board a “large vehicle.”
According to Uber, the savings could amount to as much as 70 percent compared to an UberX ride. Since uberHOP will be charging a flat rate, there will be no surge pricing mechanism.
“We’re testing uberHOP as a special pilot here because Manila suffers from some of the worst congestion in the world,” Uber said on its website.
It pointed out that an uberHOP ride would accommodate only one person per request. That means that a rider’s companions would need to each make separate uberHOP bookings.
To book an UberHOP ride, passengers can log on the app and select the uberHOP feature. The platform will then pair the rider with a driver along with other people traveling in the same direction.
There are, however, some key differences between uberHOP and a regular Uber ride.
In uberHOP, passengers will be asked to walk to a “suggested meet-up spot” that comes with a scheduled time indicated in the app, which Uber said should be within “10 minutes or less.” The drop-off point will also be suggested by the app.
The uberHOP driver will not wait for late passengers, it said, adding that at no point will the rider be allowed to contact the driver to make alternative arrangements.