Last year Uber introduced a new rideshare service called Uber Pool. The new service rolled into Chicago last November. You can think of UberPool as the old Jitney cabs, the car pooling service that circled up and down Martin Luther King Drive.
Uber’s competitor, Lyft followed suit with it’s own service called Lyft Line. This new car-pooling service is designed to pair riders together that are going in the same direction and make it more affordable for the customer and put more money in the pocket for the driver.
Nice idea. However, Chicago customers are much too wise and know a good deal when they see it. And, unfortunately for the drivers, they are getting the short end of the stick. If a customer, that is going a short distance, let’s say, under one mile, they know the probability is unlikely that another customer will be paired with them. Especially since most Uber customers aren’t aware of the new service.
Here is a screenshot of an Uber Pool trip with no paired rider.
Here is the cost to ride public transit in Chicago.The payout to the rideshare driver is just sixty-six cents more than a Chicago CTA bus ride.
According to Uber’s press release on August 5th, 2014 announcing the UberPool service, the company heralds, “uberX already cost 40% less than a taxi. Imagine reducing that cost by up to another 50%”. The problem with this idea is that everyone wins at the expense of driver. The driver is really the one who is being taken for a ride.