Last November, Uber launched a pilot of its Uber Pool replacement, dubbed UberX Share, in Miami, Florida. Today, the company says shared rides have returned to nine cities: New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Phoenix, San Diego, Portland, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh. Like Lyft, Uber paused its Uber Pool service in March 2020 with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Lyft Shared rides resumed in several cities over the last few months, and now, UberX Share is following a similar rollout. According to Uber senior vice president of mobility Andrew Macdonald, the feature will only match riders headed in the same direction and is designed to add no more than eight additional minutes to your trip’s arrival time.
The main difference between Uber’s carpool service and the pilot program is a looser approach to some COVID-19 precautions. While Uber Pool allowed riders to request up to two seats in a vehicle, UberX Share can only be used for one person at a time. If you’re traveling with friends, the company asks that you use UberX or UberXL instead.
Also, the requirement for mask-wearing has changed to “optional but recommended for all riders and drivers,” with allowances for local regulations. You’re also no longer required to sit in the back seat, but the UberX Share FAQ page says that to give the driver space, only use the front seat “if you need it.”
At most, UberX Share will still only match you with one other passenger per trip, with a discount upfront for choosing the service and an additional discount of up to 20 percent if another rider joins — based on the time and distance traveled with them. The UberX Share carpooling service is supposed to expand to more areas in the US this summer.