If you’re willing to make a few concessions, your next Uber ride is going to be cheaper than ever. On Wednesday, the ridesharing company officially launched its affordable Express Pool in Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, San Diego and Washington DC, with more cities slated to receive the option in the coming months.
As the name suggests, Express Pool is a twist on the standard UberPool option, in which multiple passengers ride in the same car to their destinations for a cheaper fare. But when you book an Express Pool, rather than waiting for the driver to come to you, you will be directed to a pickup spot where you will meet other passengers who are heading in the same general direction. The driver will then take everyone to a dropoff spot within walking distance of everyone’s destination. In exchange for a bit of walking and waiting, fares will be up to 30% cheaper than UberPool.
Uber first began testing Express Pool last November in San Francisco, but this week represents the official rollout of the product in the six cities named above. Express Pool will exist alongside UberPool and UberX, so depending on how much of a hurry you’re in, you can opt to save money or cut down on travel and wait time.
Beyond being a cost-saving measure, there are other benefits to Express Pool. Although passengers will be asked to do a bit of legwork to reach their ride, Uber will take more time to find people who are going to the same place, which means there will be fewer detours during the course of the ride. This also allows the drivers to take a more direct trip than they would with a standard Pool, as everyone is being picked up and dropped off at the same spot.
With improved algorithms and a few minor concessions from users, Express Pool has a chance to succeed right away where the standard Pool option struggled: No more zig-zagging around the city just to save a few bucks.