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UberX Share, the updated rideshare carpool option, is now accessible in nine cities, including New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. According to the business, UberX Share will be introduced this summer in other cities. The company said that following a more than two-year absence because of the epidemic, Uber is resuming shared rides in a few significant US cities on Tuesday.
In March 2020, Uber (UBER) shut down its previous version of the shared transportation service, Uber Pool, as health regulators advocated social segregation to stop the spread of Covid-19. After having previously halted the option in 2020, Lyft revived a version of a comparable service in July 2021.
With the potential that carpooling may disrupt other forms of transportation by making ride-hailing more affordable and convenient, both Uber and Lyft (LYFT) have been trying to increase the use of shared rides for years. However, the pandemic compelled businesses to postpone such preparations.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Andrew Macdonald, SVP of Mobility and Business Operations at Uber, said that UberX Share “reimagines the future of shared trips with increased efficiency and safety top-of-mind.” Riders may also anticipate getting “an upfront discount and up to 20% off the total ticket if matched with a co-rider along the route,” he added.
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Uber is also taking steps to temporarily limit the number of passengers in a carpool, seemingly in response to pandemic concerns. Customers can only request one seat using UberX Share at this moment, according to the company’s blog post, and only one additional passenger will be present at any given time. In situations where masking is still required, the business stated that masks are optional but advised.
Additionally, Uber stressed the need to increase accessibility and affordability of transportation, “particularly given the current economic context.” Worries about a severe economic slump have recently plagued the tech industry. High gas prices have added to the hardship on all drivers, including those employed by the ride-hailing sector. Uber and Lyft have declared they will introduce a temporary fuel premium on rides in response.
In an interview at the Bloomberg Technology Summit earlier this month, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi stated that he believes the company to be “recession immune.” But a month earlier, the Wall Street Journal had reported that Uber was looking to slash costs as investor euphoria wanes.