New Yorkers looking to avoid subway delays now have a new option that’s cheaper than the average Uber or cab ride. Uber announced on May 8 that its carpool service will cost a flat rate of $5 during rush hour for many Manhattan riders.
The new UberPOOL option sounds like it operates more like a bus line than a personal car service. After requesting an UberPOOL ride, the app will direct you to a nearby corner to meet your driver. After pickup, the driver will similarly stop at other corners along the way to your destination to grab other passengers. You’ll be dropped off at a corner near your destination, rather than a specific address.
The new service is tailored towards commuters — it will only be in effect between 7 and 10 a.m. and 5 and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday for rides that start and end below 110th St. in Manhattan.
More than 100,000 people take an UberPool trip every week in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago, according to The New York Times. Uber hasn’t announced any plans to expand its commuter flat rate policy to other markets, but it’s a clear sign that the company sees carpooling as an important part of its business in urban areas.
This isn’t the first time Uber has experimented with services that compete more directly with public transportation. In December, the company unveiled a program called UberHop that operates in Seattle and offers rides along preset routes for as cheap as $3.75.