From Tuesday April 3, Sydney commuters will be able to access a new rideshare service that allows them to share their journeys.
As the name suggests, it’s an Uber carpooling service that connects customers to a car travelling to a general area and allows them to split the transport costs with a fellow traveller.
From next week, the service will be rolled out in a small launch zone – Watsons Bay to Leichhardt – as a way to test the product before Uber extends it to other suburbs in Sydney and then nationally during the year.
Uber says the service has had success around the globe; 40 per cent of all San Francisco Uber rides carpool, for example. According to Uber, since launching the product in August 2014, more than one billion pooled trips have been taken globally.
To use UberPool a rider enter their destination then waits while their trip is matched to other riders heading in a similar direction. The passenger is given a pick-up spot via in-app walking directions. Riders are picked up and dropped off as close to their destination as possible, and then share the cost of the journey with their fellow commuter. The service can reduce a trip price by up to 50 per cent. There is a maximum of three passengers per car.
In an official statement Henry Greenacre, the general manager of Uber Australia and New Zealand, says: “It’s carpooling at the push of a button. That means cheaper rides for passengers and less congestion on the city’s streets over time.”
Carpooling is not new in Sydney. Last October Carpool Club launched, an app that offers real-time options for commuters; they can log on, see drivers’ intended routes and request rides.
Your trip might take a little longer and involve a bit more walking, but for a cheaper ride, we think it’s probably worth it. And you never know who you’ll meet.
Uberpool launches on Tuesday April 3.