On demand ridesharing services are becoming increasingly popular in today’s society, and with the introduction of the carpooling feature, the way of transportation may be changed for good. These services claim that carpooling will reduce the number of cars on the road, and help solve problems of congestion in large cities, pollution, and parking challenges.
Uber Pool is the carpooling service where you can share a ride with another person who happens to request a ride along a similar route. With this service, you and the other rider will split the cost of the ride. The way you request Uber Pool is the same way you would request your typical Uber—just press the button to request a ride and select the “Uber Pool” option. Once Uber finds a match for you, you will be notified of the driver’s first name.
A criticism of Uber Pool from passengers is that if the next passenger does not show up and you requested Uber Pool, you will be charged the full Uber X price, with no discount. Passengers expect to be getting a cheaper ride, but often there are no matches in the area and passengers are forced to go out of their way and still pay the non-discounted price.
Uber drivers also have strong opinions on the carpooling service—many say it is not fair for them because they have to drop off and pick up multiple passengers and not get paid extra. Uber raves that the feature allows people to communicate more and meet new people, but drivers claim that most people do not speak to each other, and they do not seem to benefit from the carpooling aside from the discount.
The Lyft Line service is very similar to Uber Pool. To request a ride, all you have to do is select the “Line” option when you open the Lyft app on your phone, and Lyft will build your line for you. One aspect of Lyft line that differs from Uber Pool is that the price of your trip is fixed after you select the “Line” option, meaning that even if they do not find another passenger, you will still be paying the discounted rate. When the “Line” arrives, Lyft will text you and you can then enter the car. The feature that gives the rider a discount regardless of the other passengers arriving is similar to what Uber Pool had when it first was introduced, but Uber’s policy has since been changed.
Uber and Lyft are not the only companies who have this “carpooling” feature—the ridesharing app Sidecar also has something called “Shared Rides” where the user can get a discount for sharing a ride with another passenger traveling on the same route.
There are mixed reviews of the carpooling service for on-demand ridesharing apps, but who knows it may soon replace the need for public transportation, and perhaps even the need for personal vehicles!
Felicia is an intern at Unleashed, LLC. She is from upstate NY, and is currently pursuing a Marketing degree at Bentley University. One day she hopes to travel the world and visit every continent.