Uber launches its low-cost SUV car service, uberXL, in San Francisco

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Ride sharing service Uber announced yesterday an affordable SUV option for San Francisco. Dubbed uberXL, the new service lets Uber customers hail an SUV instead of a regular car or a luxury sedan.

The SUV can accommodate up to six passengers, who can also use the company’s fare-split feature to share the charge.

The announcement came just ahead of the city’s annual Bay to Breakers, which is apparently a foot race that happens on the third Sunday of May. “No matter where you’re headed, uberXL can get you and your crew there (costumes and all)”, Uber wrote in the blog post.

uberXL service starts at a base fare of $5, plus 45 cents per minute and $2.15 per mile. The minimum fare is $8, compared to $6 for uberX. The rates are 50 percent less than the existing premium UberSUV option, the company says.

The company estimates a ride from the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park to the Mission district with uberXL will cost around $17.

Apart from San Francisco, uberXL was recently launched in Boston. The service is also available in Sydney and Singapore.

Founded five years ago, Uber is now offering services in more than 70 cities. It runs a smartphone app that lets people hire private livery drivers who use their own cars to shuttle riders around.

Just a few days back, the company launched uberFAMILY, a new pilot service in NYC that offers car seat-equipped vehicles for a $10 surcharge. Last month, it launched an on-demand courier service UberRUSH in Manhattan.

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