Uber launches Express Pool in San Diego

Uber exploring low-price 'Express POOL' service to SFO amid national expansion

The ride-hailing service rolled out its Express Pool service Wednesday as a cheaper version of its Uberpool option. Once you're connected with your route, the app will map your walk to meet your driver (probably one or two blocks), who will then pick you up and then drop off a few people on the way before finally leaving you one or two blocks away from your final destination.

Another perk of Express Pool: the price.

Figures reported by The Information and confirmed by AFP showed that Uber's losses in 2017 grew to $4.5 billion from the $2.8 billion the San Francisco-based firm lost a year earlier.

A test run of the service has been underway in San Francisco and Boston, and launched Wednesday in Los Angeles, San Diego and Denver.

"If this seems a lot like a bus pickup, it's because that's definitely the direction Uber and Lyft are heading", he wrote.

We're excited that with Express POOL's affordability and consistency, riders can use it every day. It will cost up to 50 percent less than Uber POOL and up to 75 percent less than UberX.

As with Uber's communal Pool service, customers book Express Pool rides using Uber's mobile app and are matched with other passengers traveling the same direction. At the end of the ride, passengers will be dropped off within walking distance to their final destination. The idea is that during this additional time, Uber's algorithm is blasting through hundreds of different drivers, routes, pickup and dropoff locations, and additional riders looking for the optimal match. Last August, Uber hired CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, replacing founder Travis Kalanick in an attempt to clean up the company's internal culture.

"The future of transportation in cities includes a shift towards more space-efficient modes of transportation and away from personal vehicle ownership", Zipcar co-founder Robin Chase said in the release.

Uber already has a low-priced service called Pool, which it launched in August 2014. Like the traditional POOL, drivers will have the option of adding new passengers after their first pickup - they just won't have to go as far out of their way as the current POOL option often forces them to do.

"When you request, we say hang tight... while we figure out who your co-riders are", said Ethan Stock, director of shared rides at Uber.

Cities around the country have started experimenting with microtransit systems to supplement rail and bus networks that are harder to rework and customize on the fly.

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