My $4.50 UberPool Ride to the Airport (that turned me into a regular user) 

I’m a big fan of UberX and use it pretty frequently.  It’s a ride sharing program that lets you connect with drivers in minutes. 

UberPool is Uber for extroverts.  It’s when you share your ride sharing.  That is,  multiple people take rides at the same time.  The Uber software has an algorithm that tries to book people along the same general route. 

a person holding a phone
I’ve been a little nervous about how much time the program might  add,  plus the difference in fare never seemed to justify the extra time. 

But when I went to book a trip to the airport  the other day,  I was offered two very different dollar amounts – – $4.50 for UberPool vs.  $18 for UberX. 

I had allowed much more time to get to the airport than I usually do and figured,  why not? 

I was the first person picked up on the trip.   The second person was mostly on the way.   She was along a back roads route I take to the airport when the main route is congested,  and she was headed to the airport. 

I “lost” about four minutes overall.   For minutes of time for $13.50 is a pretty good return! 

Since then,  I’ve been seeing a greater difference in the prices so I’ve been hopping into UberPools.

The pricing has seemed so cheap,  I asked drivers about UberPool works out for them.  They all said that they think they make slightly less per trip (including both cars)  but that they pick up fares more often and have less idling. 

One driver really loved the difference in earnings with UberPool, but explained Uber isn’t always transparent about when they are paying them through a promotion or a literal fare.  So he wasn’t sure if how much he was earning would continue or whether fares may go up.  He noticed an uptick in UberPool and wondered if Uber temporarily cut rates a little to encourage Pooling. 

The most interesting part about UberPool is seeing how other people interact with drivers.  Some don’t want to be acknowledged at all.  Others hop up front to chat.  I personally sit in the back and chat if it seems as if the driver wants to chat. 

So far, I’ve enjoyed my experience and will keep using it as long as the fare difference continues.  

Have you been Pooling?   How has your experience been? 

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. Pool and LyftLine are great. Save money and help the environment.

  2. It is really hit or miss. All depends on the riders and the route. For me, in downtown DC, its normally the passengers that are the problem. They either are not outside waiting, are drunk, dropped the pin in the wrong place and often don’t speak English when something goes wrong. I do think using it in downtown DC is noticeably worse than outside the city. I have had much better experience in Arlington and the suburbs.

    Last weekend I berated a drunk Aussie girl who had dropped her pin in the wrong place and who was laying into a driver for the pickup problem when she was literally too drunk to say she was at 7th and F (DC is on a grid), all she could say was that she was outside the Chipotle (pronounced Chip-ot-ul) in Aussie English.

  3. If you have two big suitcases going to the airport should you use Lyftline/Uberpool? What if the folks picked up on the way are also travelling with a suitcase or two to the airport? Is there established etiquette or a rule for how much trunk space you get?

  4. I wouldn’t use Uber Pool or Lyft Line if you need to make a schedule. I understand you may have gotten there and it’s way cheaper and fast, thats great. The problem is that the rides may not always be this way and most of time it isn’t and take way longer. If you’re not on a schedule, then that’s fine. Also, drivers I talked to hate pool rides as it pays less and they do more work due to the multiple passengers. Try doing a pool ride when there is surge and watch how many drivers cancel on you.

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