Uber’s Testing a $5 Flat Fee for Shared Rides

Uber is getting uber cheap during rush hour in Manhattan — at least for passengers who don’t mind walking to a designated spot for a pickup.

The app-based cab service is charging a flat $5-per-passenger rate for people who use its ride-sharing option between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, company officials said.

The new rate applies only to riders below 110th Street.

Riders will not be charged any additional surge rates, Uber said, but it will still pay its drivers based on that rate.

To take advantage of the $5 rate, customers must select the uberPOOL option in the app and enter their destination, and it will direct them to a nearby corner to wait at to be picked up, Uber said.

Riders still won’t be able to tell before they get into a car how long it will take to get to their destination or whether it would be faster on a subway.

Once they get in the car, the app will tell them the approximate time to their destination, factoring in traffic and how many other passengers the driver is directed to pick up.

They won’t be able to get their money back if they decide to bail mid-ride.

No matter how many passengers share the ride, each will pay only the flat rate.

Customers will still have the option of having a private car pick them up in front of their home with the regular uberX option, but they will be subject to paying the full cost of a ride plus surge pricing, as usual.

By having drivers pick uberPOOL customers up at designated corners, the ride should be shorter for all passengers and help reduce traffic congestion, said Uber spokeswoman Alix Anfang.

“It’s going to make it super easy for the driver to pick everybody up and just keep going,” Anfang said.

Uber has made several changes in recent weeks. Last month, it vowed to charge riders if they make drivers wait or if they cancel a ride more than two minutes after ordering it. source nypost.com

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