Uber launched a new Ride Pass feature that’s going to change up the way all ride shares work. Although it’s only started in five cities, NYC not among them, it’s going to catch on. Riders will be able to pay a fee each month and get locked in prices for their trips instead of being charged a different amount each time.
So far, Los Angeles, Austin, Orlando, Denver, and Miami all got this new update. For $14,99 (except for Los Angeles – the cost there is $24.99), the program eliminates surcharges and offers cheaper rates for your rides. The app uses an algorithm to study your Uber history and ride patterns to create base costs for your usual trips. Ride Pass members won’t be subject to all those weather and traffic surcharges. Plus, there’s no limit on how many rides a customer can take.
So far, the app boasts that it can save you 15 percent a month in travel expenses.
Drivers won’t be losing out either, as Uber plans to cover the difference in prices. This new program means that Uber, as a company, won’t have much to show in profits for a few quarters, but the head of the project, Manik Gupta, says that’s okay. “There are various different mechanisms with respect to how we think about the economics of this. This is a unique structure that really meets the needs of our customers. That’s our focus right now… Over time, as we have more riders using our platform, all the rest will follow,” Gupta told The Verge in an interview.
While Uber has been testing these types of features for the last two years, this is the first one offered to millions of people. Previous versions, like “Uber Plus” were tested in different cities, offering people discounted rides for a $20 monthly fee. However, the last few years of expansion gave Uber so many clients that they had to roll out the new Ride Pass feature to the public.
Uber does what it can to innovate and stay relevant, consistently changing things up to keep customers interested. From adding Uber Eats to redesigning their layouts and services on the app, the rideshare giant plans to be around for a long time. However, their rivals, Lyft, are growing at a higher rate, although Uber remains larger. Plus, both companies plan to go public next year, so we can probably expect changes to the way both companies charge in the next two years. And, Lyft launched a similar subscription earlier this month, although they’re charging $299 per month for 30 rides.
If you’re an Uber user in any of these cities, your app should let you sign up for the monthly feature now. Just log in and check the menu for Ride Pass. We can’t wait to read the reviews!