Uber says it will launch the app on 3 April in Australia, promising that it will make it easy for people headed in a similar direction at a similar time to share the journey.
Henry Greenacre, Uber general manager, Australia and New Zealand, says that by getting more people in fewer cars, Uber can achieve better utilisation of the resources it already has on the road, meaning the uberPOOL service can help cut congestion and pollution over time.
Uber cites an Infrastructure Australia recent report that Sydney’s population is expected to hit seven million in the next 30 years, bringing with it a whole host of challenges, including congestion. By 2046, Sydney-siders will spend about 400,000 hours each day stuck in traffic jams, as there will be approximately 2.5 million extra car journeys every day, according to the report.
Uber says that since it launched uberPOOL in global markets in 2014, nearly one billion POOL rides have been taken and the product makes up about 20% of all Uber trips in the cities where it’s available.
The company also says that in 2017, if Uber riders had driven alone instead of sharing their rides, it estimates that nearly 500 million more kilometres would have been travelled globally – consuming nearly 24 million litres of fuel and emitting 56,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
“uberPOOL makes it easy and affordable for people going in a similar direction to share the trip. It’s carpooling at the push of a button. That means cheaper rides for passengers and less congestion on the city’s streets over time,” says Greenacre.
“We’re excited to finally bring uberPOOL to Australia to kickstart a new wave in the share economy that will help our cities move more efficiently over time.”
Here’s how UberPOOL works:
1. Request and wait for your pickup spot
Enter your destination and request uberPOOL. Then, wait a few minutes upfront while your trip is matched with other riders heading in a similar direction to find an efficient trip.
2. Walk to your pickup spot
With uberPOOL, you’ll walk a short distance to a pickup spot near you - simply follow the in-app walking directions. This helps keep detours to a minimum and pickups faster for everyone.
3. Share the ride and the cost
uberPOOL matches you with other riders heading in a similar direction. When you share the ride, you also share the cost, saving up to 50% on your trip, compared with uberX.
4. Walk to your destination
You’ll be dropped off close to your destination. You’ll need to follow the walking directions in the app for a short walk to your chosen destination.