Uber will be introducing ‘Uber Express Pool’, a cheaper variable of its current ride-sharing service Uber Pool. ExpressPool will require riders to walk to a spot along a common route, unlike the Pool service which picks up riders from their doorsteps.

“We are encouraging riders to walk a little so that they can optimise the matching algorithm.” said Prabhjeet Singh, Regional General Manager of Uber India, in an interview to Hindu BusinessLine where he first spoke of the service.

The service has been piloted in major cities the US since November 2017. It typically works like this: after you enter a location and request a ride, Uber will run an algorithm to round up different drivers, routes, pickup and dropoff locations, and additional riders looking for the optimal match. Then the rider will be directed to walk a little bit to their pickup location. The cab will then go along to find and pick up other riders headed for the same area/route. Note that passengers are also dropped off at walking distance from their destination. In the US, fares UberExpressPool are up to 50 percent lower than UberPool and 75 percent lower than for UberX.

Singh also said that Uber is operating in more than 31 cities in India. Uber Pool has expanded to 36 cities worldwide, 20 of which are outside the US.

Recent developments in Uber

  • In June, Uber launched a 5 MB Lite app that was made in India, thirty times smaller than its main Android app which is around 180 MB. Uber’s head of rider experience, Peter Deng said that the app was made in India for developing markets.
  • Uber and Ola recently met the Union road transport and highways ministry to discuss to possibly introduce “exclusive women pooling” to women passengers, just a few days after a driver in Bangalore molested and threatened a female passenger with rape.