In a nutshell: Uber is looking for ways to increase revenue after the company was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. One such example is a new option to use the service on an hourly basis. Once requested, you'll be matched with a driver that has an Uber Comfort vehicle and you'll be able to set up multiple stops along the way.
Uber says that ridership plummeted during the pandemic, and even as lockdown measures have been relaxed, many people have changed the way they use the ride sharing service. The company still encourages most people to travel only when necessary, but in the meantime has implemented a new option for people to book a ride for people who have to take trips in a sequence and wish to keep the same driver that picked them up to get them to their first destination.
The idea is that re-requesting a new trip for each location could prove to be an inconvenience if all you need is to run some errands or take a few stops along the way to get certain things done.
If that sounds like you, Uber will allow you to book a ride for $50 per hour and set up multiple stops as needed. Depending on the city, you might have to pay some mile overage, but you'll get an Uber Comfort car that is more spacious so you can pick up friends or family along the way.
The new feature has been available in pilot test across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Australia, and starting next month it will also be available in select cities in the US such as Atlanta, Washington D.C., Chicago, Seattle, Dallas, Tacoma, Houston, Phoenix, Miami, Orlando, and Tampa Bay.
Uber's in a financial pinch and has already laid off thousands of employees to keep the afloat, so the hourly booking option is also a way for the company to improve revenues and give drivers additional opportunities to earn money.