Uber has driven deeper into the commuter transit space.
Uber already has uberPOOL in San Francisco and Chicago, and now two more pilot programs, known as uberHOP and uberCOMMUTE, are being tested in Chicago and Seattle. Building off what Uber said has been a successful start into the commuter transit market, the ride-hailing company is now looking to test the waters with more options.
In a blog post titled “More people in fewer cars,” Uber explains just why the company is looking to test these options. With stats from the company saying that “the average American commuter spends 42 hours a year stuck in traffic,” Uber pitches its alternative to tackle urban traffic problems.
“Investment in mass transit is an important part of the solution. But it’s expensive, and not everyone lives within walking distance of the subway or a bus stop. Uber helps use today’s existing infrastructure more efficiently at no extra cost by getting more butts into the backseats of fewer cars,” the post reads.
UberPOOL accounts for half the trips in San Francisco, and in Los Angeles, Uber claims that uberPOOL has cut the “the number of miles driven across town by 7.9 million and prevented carbon dioxide pollution by 1,400 metric tons,” according to its data.
That’s where uberHOP comes in. UberHOP debuts today (Dec. 10) and is available for specific routes. For those looking to use uberHOP, they can do so by using Uber’s app to request a ride. That rider then gets paired with a driver who will pick up riders heading in the same direction at a specific centralized location. The riders will then take a specific route and be dropped off at a pre-determined stop.
As for uberCOMMUTE, it will allow drivers who want to “share their commute and recoup the cost of the trip.” For those wanting to share a commute as a driver, they can be paired with other commuters heading the same way; for passengers, they can pair with commuting drivers heading the same way so the costs are shared.