Last November, Uber launched a pilot of its Uber Pool replacement, called UberX Share, in Miami, Florida. Today, the company says shared rides have returned to nine cities: New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix, San Diego, Portland, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh. Like Lyft, Uber paused its Uber Pool service in March 2020 with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Lyft Shared rides have resumed in several cities in recent months and now UberX Share is following a similar rollout. According to Uber senior vice president of mobility Andrew Macdonaldthe feature will only match riders traveling in the same direction and is designed to add no more than eight extra minutes to the arrival time of your journey.
The main difference between Uber’s carpool service and the pilot program is a looser approach to some of the COVID-19 precautions. While Uber Pool allowed riders to request up to two seats in a vehicle, UberX Share can only be used for one person at a time. If you’re traveling with friends, the company asks you to use UberX or UberXL instead.
Also, the requirement to wear a mask has been changed to “optional, but recommended for all riders and drivers”, subject to local regulations. You’re also no longer required to sit in the back seat, but the UberX Share FAQ page says that to give the driver room, you should only use the front seat “if you need it”.
UberX Share will still only match you with one other passenger per trip at most, with an upfront discount for choosing the service and an additional discount of up to 20 percent if another rider joins – based on the time and distance involved with them has been completed. UberX Share’s carpool service is set to expand to more areas in the US this summer.