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Below is a copy of a reply letter sent to Uber management regarding the issues with UberPOOL. Please feel free to comment or offer up any information about the topic that might be helpful.

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Thank you for your prompt response.

I understand the intention of UberPOOL and how it's broken down price wise for both the customer and driver. I think we can all agree It's an extremely beneficial concept for all willing Uber passengers.

In theory, however, UberPOOL makes very little sense for drivers. The supposed benefit for drivers is the ability to pick up 2 rides simultaneously and capitalize on earnings from both passengers with a single ride. These additional earnings, however, are offset by the pricing structure and entire concept itself.

In whole, the problem starts with the incentive for UberPOOL passenger's to pay rates of about half what the standard rate would be. Consequently, the driver can now only earn that same discounted rate for that ride. Because there are 2 or more passengers on the same ride though it's assumed the 2 half's will make a whole and the driver will still end up earning the same basic amount or more depending on the different drop off locations. Unfortunately, though, this is not the case.

For one, UberPOOL is only active when 2 or more passengers are starting/ending in the same basic location. That being the case any additional time and mileage earned between dropping off individual passengers at their final destination will inherently be extremely minimal since they're all already headed to the same general area anyway (hence the reason UberPOOL was being used in the first place!). Secondly, despite drivers only being able to earn the sum of the discounted rates for each UberPOOL ride, the $1.25 rider fee is still charged in full for each passenger picked up during the same ride. Simple math would then suggest that every UberPOOL request a driver accepts will cost them an additional $1.25 for the same ride and no guarantee they'll even recover that cost with the additional fare they just took on.

Also, a concern for both the driver and passenger with UberPOOL is who is being charged when the first passenger has been picked up and the driver arrives at the 2nd passengers location but they aren't immediately ready. By waiting for the 2nd passenger the original passenger is being charged for that time through no fault of their own. By starting the 2nd ride immediately upon arriving despite being forced to wait for the passenger you run the risk of upsetting (or mistiming) the 2nd rider.

The Uber teams needs to redo the math for UberPOOL if they want drivers to use it. As it stands, drivers have no incentive to accept a 2nd UberPOOL request and instead continue on with their original passenger. Of course this will eventually lead to passengers noticing when drivers purposely deny additional UberPOOL requests and become upset at the drivers for costing them the opportunity for discounted fares.

I hope a resolution to this issue can be found quickly. If you have any additional questions or if I can help out in any way please don't hesitate to contact me.

Thank you,

Frank DiPasquale
 

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the worst thing about uber pool is that it is unsafe to both pax and driver. uber will send you the second request while you are driving and trying to navigate. you are now forced to interact with your phone which is illegal. and puts you at risk for an accident. i feel that every driver should e mail uber about this so that you have proof that you had concerns about the this unsafe practice, in case you ever get into an accident on uber pool you can sue for millions of dollars. i have my email response. generic, but i have proof i had concerns.
 

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Frank, you're too nice.

I guess that I'm the only one that got an email about helping passengers and the ecological impact that I had by using uberPOOL?

This infuriated me, so I responded with the following:

I don't care that I helped them or the environment. The pay and time wasted
on my end with uberPOOL is horrific, but the pay for uber is receiving is astronomical and at my direct expense.
Be a true "Partner" and learn to share what you're earning. I'm about to quit.

They responded with:

Hi Don,

Thanks for writing in! Hearing from you is the best way for us to learn about how uberPOOL is working.

uberPOOL is still in its early stages, and we're constantly working to improve the experience for both rider and driver. We appreciate your patience as we work toward the best possible product!

Thanks again for reaching out, and please let me know if there's anything else I can help with.

Best,


It took 2 days, but they responded with a $6 and $8 guarantee for uberPOOL. It's still a $3.80 minimum for a single pax and $5.40 for 2 pax. This guarantee takes out both the $1.25 and 20% from the $6 or $8 fare, so it's basically nothing.
 

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The driver has an incentive to cancel a pool and not accept a second rider unless the surge is higher.
To incentivize the driver to accept pools, pay them the regular X fare for one passenger, and 25% more for 2 passengers. Take 20% off for each passenger. Uber gets 60% more for 2 passengers and makes up 20% for 1 passenger.
 
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