Uber is reportedly gearing up to roll out a new pricing structure in which users can get cheaper rides if they are willing to wait longer.
Quartz reported that Uber account executive Gregory Jacobs accidentally turned to Twitter and Tweeted out a screenshot of a new feature that showed that if Jacobs waited longer for the ride he would get a cheaper fare. He could pay $10.18 for the ride now or wait four minutes and pay $8.15, which amounts to around 25 percent savings, noted the report. “If you’re OK with leaving later, we’ll request your ride for 17:00 for a lower price,” the app stated before Jacobs removed the tweet and made his account private. An Uber spokesperson confirmed to Quartz in an email statement that it is testing the feature with Uber employees in San Francisco and Los Angeles. “Affordability is a top reason riders choose shared rides, and we’re internally experimenting with a way to save money in exchange for a later pickup,” the spokesperson said in the statement.
Amid a shortage of drivers, rising gas prices and mounting frustrations on the part of drivers, Uber has raised its prices in some of the big U.S. markets it operates in. The move is also designed to make driving for Uber more attractive as competition in the industry has picked up. At the same time, Uber is trying to prevent customers from jumping ship to a lower cost option by testing out cheaper ride options. For example, Quartz pointed to its Express Pool service that picks up multiple people at once, asking customers to wait on corners to make it easier for drivers. The company is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on that effort, noted the report. Offering riders a cheaper option if they are willing to wait a little longer could keep its cost-conscious customers using the service and help smooth out supply and demand, noted the report.