Nothing beats savings on top of savings.
When Uber introduced UberPool, their cost-efficient carpool service, rideshare prices quickly became more affordable.
Users were happy.
Then the company introduced the cherry on top: Uber Express Pool.
Nowadays, Uber riders in a handful of North American cities can double up on savings by truly sharing a ride.
In this article, we’ll discuss Uber Express Pool — the app’s most cost-efficient service — as well as smart ways for you to save on Uber rides every day.
What Is Uber Express Pool?
Uber Express Pool is the most affordable way to ride with Uber.
This unique service matches multiple riders to a single vehicle headed in one direction.
Requesting your ride follows the same process as requests for any other Uber service, and the pick-up process is just as simple.
Here’s how it works:
- Once you’re matched, wait for your Uber app to provide a pick-up location.
- Follow your app’s walking directions to your designated pick-up spot.
- When your trip reaches a stopping point, exit the vehicle and walk to your desired destination.
While surge pricing and standard Uber costs like per-mile fees will still apply, your walk will cut down most of your individual fees to ensure the final price you pay beats all other Uber services.
Uber Express Pool vs. UberPool
Whether you select Uber Express Pool or UberPool primarily depends on what you prefer saving: time or money.
Express Pool is a huge money-saver for passengers on a budget — you can catch a ride for approximately 75% less than the cost of an UberPool ride.
To keep this the most affordable option, Uber maximizes driver efficiency by bringing Express Pool riders to pick-up locations along the vehicle’s preset route.
Similarly, drop-off locations are also along the route, which means a bit of walking may be required to reach your final destination.
UberPool, on the other hand, directs Uber drivers to take small detours to ensure your pick-up point is as close to your current location as possible, or just a few feet away.
Your drop-off point will also be at your final destination or a short distance from it.
UberPool minimizes your walking time, guaranteeing the accuracy of your estimated time of arrival.
In essence, Uber’s Express Pool service is a blend of public transit and ridesharing, whereas UberPool can be more accurately described as a carpool service.
Other Ways to Save on Uber
Just because you’re sticking to a budget doesn’t mean you have to give up your private commute.
If you prefer not to carpool with strangers, there are a few ways you can still save on rides.
Using Economy Services
While Uber Express Pool rides are always the most affordable option, Uber’s other economy services still guarantee lower prices than metered taxis can get you.
If you want the ride to yourself, we recommend choosing UberX, the company’s most well-known service.
Your driver will give you a private ride in a standard sedan, starting from a location of your choosing and ending precisely at your final destination.
If you need a little extra room for luggage, or you’re bringing a group of friends along, UberXL is another economy service that promises an SUV or minivan when you’re in need of extra seats.
Getting an Uber Subscription
Uber offers users in a handful of U.S. cities the opportunity to purchase an Uber Ride Pass.
This monthly subscription locks in your price to help you avoid surge pricing, especially if you typically use Uber during rush hour traffic, or to and from events.
Your ride pass also includes complimentary access to Jump bikes and scooters for 30 minutes each day, where available.
In total, you’ll likely save up to 15% on rides each month, particularly if you’re a frequent user of the Uber app.
Earning Extra Cash
Making money through Uber is possible for riders and drivers alike.
Currently, the rideshare company offers the following opportunities for passengers to earn extra cash on their next Uber ride:
Uber recently launched a free rewards program that allows users to earn $5 for every 500 points they earn from purchases.
Every dollar spent on UberPool or Uber Eats is worth a point, while your points are doubled for UberX and tripled for Uber Black.
If you’re a frequent Uber rider or eater, you may reach higher levels that can unlock benefits like free delivery, priority pickups, and ride upgrades.
Visa Local Offers
If you have a Visa card saved in your Uber account, you can receive cash back for eligible purchases from select restaurants and stores near you.
Learn more about the offers from Visa Local.
Uber’s referral program offers riders $5 off one trip every time a new user signs up with their invite code and completes a ride.
To make the incentive sweeter, the user you refer will receive $2 off their next three rides.
To generate your referral code, tap the menu icon located on the upper right-hand corner of your app and select “Free Rides.”
Sharing a Ride With Friends
Do you hate carpooling with strangers, but love carpooling with people you know?
Sharing a ride with friends on the way to a party, or with coworkers on your way to work, can help you save immensely on each ride.
Uber has a built-in Split Fare feature that makes it easy to share your rideshare vehicle.
To use the feature:
- Request a ride on the Uber app.
- Swipe up from the bottom of your Uber app.
- Select your current payment method.
- Select “Split Fare.”
- Enter your fellow riders’ names and phone numbers.
Each rider will receive a notification, through which they can accept an invitation to share the ride.
However, we do recommend splitting fares using Venmo, Zelle, or other mobile payment services.
Uber’s feature is convenient, but it comes with an extra 25-cent charge for every rider.
Frequently Asked Questions
Uber Express Pool is a wonderful innovation that makes ridesharing more accessible than ever.
Before you make your first request, here are a few common questions to help you navigate the service and your options:
1. How many passengers can ride in an Uber Express Pool vehicle?
The total amount of passengers can vary based on the size of your driver’s vehicle.
However, all Pool rides put a two-passenger limit on each request.
This is to prevent large parties from taking up all the spots in a vehicle — defeating the purpose of UberPool and Express Pool — in an effort to save money.
2. Where is Uber Express Pool available?
This option is primarily available in major metropolitan cities in the United States and Canada, where demand is high. Cities include Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, and Toronto.
Express Pool typically isn’t introduced until after UberPool is available, though the availability of both services is growing.
3. How much time can I expect to spend walking when requesting Uber Express Pool?
Typically, an average walker will arrive at their destination within two or three minutes after being dropped off.
Your app will estimate your time of arrival before your request — including your walking time and taking into account possible drop-off changes — so don’t worry too much about calculating additional time for your walk.
4. Will I know how many other passengers will be joining me before I’m picked up?
Uber does not disclose how many people will be in the vehicle before your pick-up.
However, if new passengers will be joining your ride after your pick-up, you’ll receive a notification alerting you of an extra pick-up along your route.
Additional passengers shouldn’t alter your estimate time of arrival beyond the range you were provided.
5. Does Lyft offer services similar to UberPool or Express Pool?
Lyft offers two equivalents to these cost-efficient Uber services.
Shared functions exactly like UberPool, while Shared Saver launched in early 2019 as an equivalent to Express Pool.
In fact, Shared Saver and Express Pool are so similar that they’ve both been marketed with the tagline “walk a little, save a lot.”
Start Sharing to Start Saving
Whether you’re sharing your ride or sharing an invite code, spreading the Uber love can help you save hundreds on your annual transportation expenses.
Now that you know all about Uber Express Pool, as well as additional opportunities to cut costs, you can easily stick to your budget.
Are you a first-time rider?
We’re sharing our referral link to help you save.
Sign up here for your Uber account.