Uber experiments with fixed-route service in San Francisco

September 13, 2015

Uber is trying its hand at operating more like a transit agency with fixed-route services in San Francisco. According to TechCrunch, its new “Smart Routes” service will have vehicles operating on a specified corridor with set pickup/dropoff locations along he route. Riders who choose to be picked up and dropped off on these routes will be charged $1 less than the normal UberPool fare. UberPool fares in much of San Francisco are about $7 per ride, and can accommodate one or two riders on a shared ride.

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Currently, there are two Smart Routes in San Francisco: Fillmore between Haight and Bay and Valencia between 15th and 26th.

These Smart Routes aim to make trips more efficient by eliminating the number of turns drivers need to make and choosing pickup/dropoff locations that are easy for drivers to use. It will appeal to riders who are not picky about walking a block or two out of their way to save a dollar and have a potentially shorter wait and travel time. (i.e. those already walking around or those who just want to get to specific neighborhood, not necessarily a particular address).

Smart Routes join Uber’s “Perpetual Rides”, suggested pickup points and Lyft’s Triple Match service as ways to improve the efficiency of ridesharing.