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Uber Express POOL gets you cheap fares with a little walking

Uber is rolling out Express POOL to select cities. The service nets you some seriously cheap fares, but you have to do a little legwork in return.

Published onFebruary 21, 2018

Uber app on a smartphone in India.
  • Uber Express POOL is a new service that gets you cheaper fares in exchange for a little walking on your part.
  • The company’s ride algorithm will match you and the driver to a pick-up location, which you will have to walk to.
  • The rollout is only happening in certain major U.S. cities for now.

People who live in large metropolitan areas like New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago are likely familiar with Uber POOL. The service enables you to hop into an Uber ride that is already carrying at least one other passenger. Since you’re both sharing the ride, fares go down for both of you.

Uber is now rolling out a different version of Uber POOL called Uber Express POOL. This even-cheaper version of Uber POOL also pairs you up with other riders but lightens the load on the driver by having you walk to meet them in a more accessible pick-up spot.


As an example, you may be at a bar on a cross-street that is one-way, while the driver of an Uber vehicle is on the one-way block. To pick you up in an Uber POOL, the driver would have to go around the block and back down the one-way, which is not very efficient. Uber Express POOL would instead ask you, the rider, to walk to a better pick-up location, so the driver doesn’t have to alter his or her route drastically.

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In return for a little leg-work, Uber Express POOL gives you the cheapest fare Uber has ever offered.

Two of Uber’s biggest competitors, Via and Lyft, also offer services where you share the ride with someone else for a cheaper fare. Since pricing for these services is so competitive, Uber is struggling with appeasing three different variables: the driver, who complains that Uber POOL is more work for the same pay; the rider, who will go with whatever ride is the cheapest from whatever company; and the shareholders, who want to see Uber’s profits go up.

Uber Express POOL is the company’s hopeful answer to all three issues, as it puts less stress on drivers, gives a more reliable discount to riders, and is not cost-prohibitive for the company’s bottom line.

As of right now, only very select metropolitan areas have access to Uber Express POOL. If you don’t live in one of the more famous cities in the United States, you probably won’t see it in your app. But if you live in the Big Apple, the Windy City, the Bay Area, or another large metropolis, check your Uber app for the Express POOL service next time you need a ride.

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