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As ride-hailing prices surge, Uber is back with an option to share a ride to save money

June 21, 2022
4 min read
calling ride on app
As ride-hailing prices surge, Uber is back with an option to share a ride to save money
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If you think back to the pre-pandemic days, you might remember a thing called UberPool, which allowed users to share the cost of a ride with complete strangers.

Those days abruptly ended in early 2020, but as travel begins to mirror its pre-pandemic self — complete with sold-out flights and airport delaysUber users can once again request shared rides in select U.S. cities this summer.

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(Image courtesy of Uber)

Related: Uber and Lyft wait times improving as more drivers hit the road

Starting June 21, UberX Share will be available for riders in nine U.S. cities: New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix, San Diego, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Portland, Oregon.

Although UberX Share is a relaunched version of UberPool, users will notice a few differences. To start, just because you request a shared ride does not mean you are guaranteed to actually get a co-rider along the way, but your UberX Share trip will always be cheaper than a regular UberX ride.

At a minimum, UberX Share riders receive an upfront discount for selecting a shared ride, and if they are matched with a co-rider during their journey, they'll receive up to 20% off their total fare price.

Users will receive a notification informing them when/if they match with a co-rider; the notification will also show the subsequent dollar amount the rider is now saving, which includes the aforementioned initial discount, according to the company.

(Image courtesy of Uber)

Related: $100-plus fares and 2-hour wait times: What the Uber and Lyft driver shortage means for you

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Initially, users should expect no more than one other rider to join them in the car, a tactic designed to leave the middle seat open, per Uber.

Uber will only pair riders who are heading in the same direction together, so you can plan on arriving close to the same time as what's noted for an UberX.

"We’ve designed UberX Share so that riders will arrive no more than eight minutes later than an UberX ride," Andrew Macdonald, Uber's senior vice president of mobility and business operations, told TPG. "This new shared rides offering will provide a more affordable, efficient and sustainable experience for riders, drivers, the cities we serve, and for Uber.”

In the coming weeks and months, Uber expects to expand UberX Share to other U.S. destinations. The service is currently available in seven international locations, including cities in Argentina, Africa, the Middle East and Australia.

(Image courtesy of Uber)

Will UberX Share help with rider issues?

Uber's reintroduction of shared rides could alleviate some of the issues experienced by riders, like myself, who have dealt with long wait times and surge pricing likely due to high gas prices.

When asked about these issues, Uber said surge pricing and wait times have actually improved this year thus far, adding that the company has not seen a decrease in drivers on the platform in North America.

Speaking from recent personal experience, a friend and I tried to take both Uber and Lyft at various points last week in Chicago. We were unable to successfully locate a Lyft at any time, while Uber provided surge pricing throughout the same period. Frustrated, we reverted to taking cabs each time, though hailing a cab took up to 10 minutes, even in downtown Chicago.

Like Uber, Lyft also reported an increase of drivers in its workforce earlier this month, which should help some of these pain points often shouldered by riders.

If you are looking to take an Uber, Lyft or taxi this summer, I would allow extra time for finding a vehicle, as you may not be able to get one at times. Of course, public transit presents the cheapest option of all.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees