SlickDeals has an offer right now that can get you $5 off Lyft Line–Lyft’s version of the UberPool. Please note, this discount only applies to the ridesharing version of this ride sharing service–in that you are agreeing to share your vehicle with another person in need of a ride.
These relatively new programs from both are ridesharing for extroverts. There’s someone in my office who always talks about her UberPool conversations in the elevator. That’s fine and great.
But not everyone is looking to have a conversation when traveling somewhere.
Basically, when you call one of these meta-rideshare vehicles (or rideshare^2 if you will), the app looks for another ride for about a minute. If it doesn’t pair you up with one, it’ll search for another match during the ride. If it doesn’t find a match, you win! (Or at least, in my opinion. Not my coworker’s).
But there can be some… difficulties with these match ups. In Koebler’s Mashable article, they couldn’t find Richard, the next rider, even though he kept answering his mobile.
I was at the airport once and ended up getting blocked in by an Uber driver who was looking for his UberPool pickup. The current passenger kept yelling apologies through the car window. So it seems as if finding a lost pick-up might be a common theme.
Koebler also dives into the problems that these services cause drivers. According to him, Uber usually ends up paying drivers less for a UberPool ride (whereas Lyft does not for Lyft line).
The problem was not Richard, and besides my yelling, the problem wasn’t me. The problem is that UberPOOL and Lyft Line, two services from our ridesharing overlords that take two separate Uber rides and combine them into one, are real life exercises in game theory. Neither you, nor the driver, nor the rideshare company has any idea what the hell your experience is going to be like.
It’s not just the money, however. The uncertainty POOL and Line give passengers is worse for drivers; impatient and clueless passengers are likely to take their bad experiences out on drivers by giving them low ratings, which negatively impact how many rides drivers are able to ultimately get.
Uber drivers regularly report that the first passenger will demand that a driver not pick up the second passenger or the first passenger will get impatient with the other passenger, creating an awkward situation the driver has to handle.
I personally have not used the services and I’m not incredibly interested. I was mildly tempted when UberPool had unlimited packages in New York, at a time I was spending a lot of time in New York.
But even though these programs are intended to incentivize the people who wouldn’t usually use the service, I think this is also what causes some of these unrealistic expectations–people are taking UberPool and Lyft Line who don’t want the extrovert experience.