Uber is bringing back a feature that allows customers in large US cities to pay lower fares in exchange for sharing rides with strangers, the company said Tuesday. 

The introduction of “UberX Share” feature — a rebrand of the option formerly known as “Uber Pool” — comes more than two years after Uber and Lyft nixed shared rides during the coronavirus outbreak in March 2020. 

UberX Share is now available in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Phoenix, Indianapolis, Portland and Pittsburgh, the company said in a press release. Uber plans to add additional cities later this summer. 

The news comes as surging ride-share prices squeeze riders across the country.

Average ride-share fares hit a new all-time high in April amid a tight labor market and skyrocketing gas prices, with the average now more than 35% higher than before the pandemic, according to research from YipitData reported by the Wall Street Journal

Uber
UberX Share is available in major cities including New York.
REUTERS

Uber is pitching the shared rides feature as a way for customers to save money. The company says riders will receive an unspecified “upfront discount” when they select UberX Share, as well as up to 20% off the total fare if they’re matched with another rider during the trip. 

The company added that it will only match riders heading in the same direction and that riders will arrive at their destinations no more than eight minutes later than a standard Uber ride. 

uberX share
Uber is pitching the feature as a way for riders to save money.
Uber

While Uber Pool sometimes saw three or more strangers sandwiched into a single vehicle, UberX Share will be limited to two passengers at a time. 

Lyft currently offers shared rides in Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Jose, Denver, Las Vegas and Atlanta. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.



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