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Hate commuting? Uber wants to fix that with two new pilot programs in Seattle and Chicago

By dkpope
Dec 14, 2015
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  1. Uber is launching two new pilot services in Seattle and Chicago. According to a Uber blog post, uberHOP is a bus-like service and uberCOMMUTE is a carpooling service. The uberHOP pilot started in Seattle on Thursday, December 10 and basically sounds like a privatized bus service. Here’s how Uber says it works:

    • Open the app and select uberHOP. Choose a route and request an uberHOP.
    • We’ll pair you up with a driver as well as other commuters traveling in the same direction. You’ll then get directions on where and when to catch your ride.
    • Using those directions, walk to your pickup location where a driver and your fellow commuters will meet you. You’ll need to be on time as your uberHOP driver will leave promptly.
    • At the end of your journey, you’ll be dropped off at a pre-destined stop so you can walk the last few blocks to work.

    UberCOMMUTE, the pilot launching in Chicago, is a little different. This project is for drivers who don’t mind picking up passengers headed to a similar location. It will be available in the Chicago area during the workweek from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Here’s how Uber says it works:

    • If you want to share your commute, sign up with Uber and we’ll check your driver’s license and driving record. On the days you’re driving to work and want to share the ride, switch on the app and we’ll pair you up with someone going the same way.
    • If you’re a passenger switch on the app and select uberPOOL, choose the “commuters” option and then enter your pickup location as well as your destination. Uber will then pair you up with a fellow commuter on the way to or from work so you can share the cost of the journey.
    • We will have standard Uber safety features on during and after the ride, like GPS tracking, share my ETA, and 2-way feedback.

    Both pilot programs are supposed to make commuting more efficient and less taxing on the individual and the community. UberPool, yet another program with a different name that helps people going in the same direction at the same time share a ride, is already in place in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Uber says that the program has already impacted the two cities in positive ways (including cutting down on miles driven and lessening carbon dioxide pollution.) We'll have to wait and see how the new programs work in Seattle and Chicago.

    Image Credit: Prathan Chorruangsak / Shutterstock.com

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  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,155   +1,431

    There is a reason why cab drivers are not allowed to pick up multiple passengers at the same time. In fact, there is a fine for that.

    Uber thinks they are so smart, they will just call them organized and screw the regulation. Hah, they tried it before, and it didn't work. Until the next fiasco.
     
  3. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,561   +2,367

    And that is?
     
  4. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,155   +1,431

    To maintain the quality of service intended for cabs, in accordance with the local rates for the service. Without this provision cab drivers will start picking up second and third passengers on the way to maximize the profit, at the expense of reduced quality of the service.

    At least this is the way it is stipulated strictly here in Ireland and in UK, and I believe in many other countries.
     
  5. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,561   +2,367

    Unlikely to be an issue with Uber due to their matching methodology.
     
  6. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,155   +1,431

    Like I said, they have tried stunts like that before, and it didn't work out. In many countries cab unions are vicious, and they won't stand for it, and rightfully so.
     
  7. RzmmDX

    RzmmDX TS Guru Posts: 305   +62

    Yes, I hate commuting.

    So how on Earth does this alleviate that? I am still getting into a car and now I am being driven by a stranger and be sitting with strangers.

    Such a great and revolutionary idea.
     
  8. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,561   +2,367

    "This service does not appeal to me (at face value). Therefore, there is no market!"
     

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