Rideshare guy here, with a video for you on UberPool. I’m going to talk about what can you expect from UberPool: What it’s like, and what drivers are saying about it.
You may or may not have UberPool in your city, but it’s in a bunch of cities right now, like LA, San Francisco, London, Boston, etc., and it’s been slowly rolled out to more and more cities. If it’s not in your city yet, and you’re an UberX driver, it will most likely be in your city soon.
What is UberPOOL?
I often get a lot of questions about, first of all, what is it? UberPool is pretty simple: It basically two passengers who are headed in generally the same direction and allows them to car pool in the same car.
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If you pick someone up on the south side of the city, and you’re going to drop them off on the north side of the city, once you make that first pick-up, you’re open to getting another pick-up, right? That’s what UberPOOL can do.
Hopefully they’re not too far out of the way (we’ll talk about some of those problems)! Ideally, if someone is right along the way, and they’re outside waiting for you, you can pick them up and drop off either the first or second passenger, depending on the destination. The passengers are able to save 40, 50%. The drivers are supposed to make more, but it doesn’t quite work out that way!
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The downsides of driving for UberPOOL
That’s basically how it works, and you can always try it as a passenger to see how it works on UberPool. When it first launches in your city, honestly, there’s probably going to be a lot of problems.
Most people, especially, Uber doesn’t do a great job of educating the passengers in general, and when UberPool rolls out, they generally say, “Hey, UberPool is coming. Save 50% off your ride.” So, of course, people are pretty psyched, “Hey, I can save 50% off.” They don’t even think about what UberPool is.
The Uber app defaults to UberPOOL for passengers
Oftentimes, when riders open their app, it defaults to UberPool on the passenger side of the app. They could even be requesting an UberPool and not even realize that they’re requesting an UberPool! They think they’re requesting an UberX, so they get into your car on a pool ride, and you go and pick someone else up, and they say, “Hey, what the heck is going on? Why are you picking someone else up?”
These are all pretty common issues that you’ll run into, especially when it first launches. A lot of riders will want to change the destination, but with UberPool, you have to enter a set pick-up and destination location, because that’s how the algorithm works. You’re only allowed to bring one or two people on each UberPool as a passenger, so you’re going to basically have two groups.
Some passengers bring too many people along
With UberPOOL you can take two groups of two passengers, or a group of one and a group of one, or a group of one and a group of two. You’ll never have more than four passengers, and you’ll never have more than two groups of people. But if someone brings in three people, you can’t allow that because then the next person, if they were to bring in two, would give you five passengers, and that’s one too many.
There are lot of growing pains with UberPool, and if you couldn’t tell, I’m not a big fan of it. I think that really what it boils down to is it’s about double the work, since you have to do two pick-ups and two drop-offs, and you don’t make a whole lot more money.
In fact, that’s kind of one of my biggest personal complaints, is that the passengers are saving 40 to 50% on each ride, which is great for them. Uber is making more money on these rides, but you actually make about the same amount as in UberX. You might make a little tiny bit more, which we’ll talk about with the pricing.
Two pickups and two drop-offs for the same pay
But as far as for how much you actually get paid, technically, from what Uber said, you’re supposed to get paid from your normal UberX rates from your first pick-up to your last drop-off. Now in some cities, they have been starting to test special UberPool rates that kind of apply, whether you get a match or not. So you may be in one of those cities, but that’s typically how it works. What it boils down to is that you might get paid a little bit extra, but you’re really not making a ton more, yet you have to do two pick-ups and two drop-offs.
And I don’t know about you guys, but, obviously, picking up and dropping off are generally the most difficult times, right? It’s the most stress. You have to worry about tickets, parking, where are you going to pick them up, are these riders ready? And, especially, you can imagine that you have someone in the back seat, and you guys know how long it takes Uber riders to get outside, right? You’ve got to pick up your second rider, and it takes them three, four minutes to come outside.
Now, technically, Uber says that you’re supposed to cancel after two minutes of waiting, but not every driver knows that, so you run into a lot of problems, and now you could be rated by two passengers. So as one of my readers actually put it, it’s like having two bosses and doing double the work, which obviously doesn’t sound great.
Do drivers have to accept POOL requests?
Now you’re probably wondering right now, “Do I have to accept these UberPool requests?” And they’ll actually come in just like any other requests. You’ll see it on your screen. Instead of UberX, though, it will say UberPool. And once you accept it, you navigate to the passenger, just like you would with a regular UberX ride, but once you’ve picked up that first passenger, you’re now open for a second passenger, right?
You could be driving down the street — I’ve even had it driving down the freeway — and boom, you get a second request, and you have to accept it, which I think is a little bit of a safety issue, to be honest, because you have to accept it while you’re driving. You could be on the freeway. I mean most recent time, it happened on the freeway, and I kind of had to get over it pretty quickly to exit and go pick this guy up, the second passenger. So you definitely need to be aware of things like that. And I know a lot of drivers have honestly taken the approach that they’re not big fans of UberPool, and they may just outright not do it. They may just not go and get that second passenger.
You have to be a little bit careful, because that will affect your acceptance rate, and, obviously Uber is not going to take super kindly to it. So if you never pick up a second passenger, it wouldn’t be too big of a surprise if you get deactivated or warned.
I’m not sold on the whole UberPool concept, and I think that one of the reasons why it hasn’t been rolled out nationwide because I think there are a lot of problems with it. I mean, passengers really do like the 50% off, but at the same time, they don’t like sharing the ride. It’s always a little bit awkward when you first get into that car.
What do you think about UberPOOL? Leave comment!
I’m curious to hear what you guys are doing Pool, if you guys are kind of enjoying it, if you guys are hating it. There are certain times when it actually can work to your benefit, and that’s when it’s surging, because in a lot of these cities, Uber’s subsidizing the Pool rate, so you could pay normal pool rates when it’s surging.
You might get a surge request on Pool, but the passenger will still pay the lower rates, but the driver will still get paid more. There are opportunities to make more on UberPool when it’s surging, but generally, I’m not a huge fan of it.
If it hasn’t come to your city yet, that’s a little bit about what you can expect. It is kind of the way of the future, so there’s not a whole lot about that you can do about it. Some drivers call it ‘peeing in the pool.’ Some drivers like to pee in the pool, and that’s kind of doing things like not accepting the second request or just seeing an UberPool and not even accepting at all, only doing UberX. And I think those are a little bit more short-term strategies. I don’t know how well that’s going to work for everyone. Obviously, you kind of risk running into some issues with Uber.
I hope you guys got some good info out of this video. Feel free to like, comment, subscribe. If you have any questions, definitely leave them for me below. All right, take care.
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