Uber just launched an ride sharing service with “UberPOOL” in NYC. You must enter your final destination in the app and they will find folks looking for a ride with a similar route as you. While this is a great enhancement to Uber, it has been around in NYC for some time now with another car service called Via (which is a flat $5 per ride, but only runs between 32nd street and 101th street in Manhattan). Uber’s ride sharing will service all 5 boroughs and does not have a flat rate tied to it.
How UberPOOL works: You can request a ride and have a maximum of 2 riders per pickup. You will then be matched with other people requesting a ride and there can be up to four passengers in the car total. There is no fixed rate but Uber says that if you are matched with another rider you will save anywhere between 20%-50% off your ride. Now, if there are no matches for you to share the ride with you will pay the full uberX rate. With the car service Via, even if you are in the car all by yourself you still pay the same $5 fee. I’ll write more about Via in a future post.
How to request an UberPOOL: Select the uberX option and then above it select the uberPOOL. I personally cannot get the “UberPOOL” option to appear in my Uber app but maybe there is an issue with my app. Here are the FAQs regarding UberPOOL.
Referral links to get free rides: If you are new to Uber you can get a free ride up to $20. If you are new to Via you can get $20 in free credit by using code adam4c8 which will give you four free rides! Feel free to leave your own Uber and Via referral codes in the comments section below.
Combining with Amex: Remember, through December 31, 2014, you can get a $10 statement credit after spending $10 or more on an Uber. So if you take a $10 Uber, your ride is free! This is available to new and existing customers! Related blog post.