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The ride-hailing service has recently launched a new pricing structure.
With the coronavirus taking the world by storm, almost no industry has been spared. Uber has seen its profits fall drastically due to the shelter-in-place orders implemented throughout the country. The company informed investors that by mid-April, ride volume had fallen by a staggering 80%. To cope with such immense losses, Uber has been looking for new ways to keep itself afloat. Uber has significantly refocused its efforts on its Uber Eats delivery service and has chosen to let go of its scooter and bike rental services.
Along with many of the major changes implemented by Uber, a new feature has been introduced. It is aimed towards riders who need to take longer rides with multiple destinations. Through the new “Hourly” function, riders are given the chance to set the amount of time the trip would approximately take, thus locking in a flat hourly rate to cover the entire ride.
Multiple destination trips are not new for Uber. They’ve been allowing these since 2017. However, the addition of an hourly rate for longer, multi-stop rides is an entirely new approach. Uber seems to be catering to the type of rider who used to consistently utilize public transportation to run multiple errands but has now been looking for alternative means of transportation due to the corona outbreak. In a statement, Niraj Patel, director of Uber’s ride operations referred to the new feature as “an additional earnings opportunity for drivers, as we move forward in this ‘new normal.'”
Riders simply enter a destination and are given the option to add up to three immediate stops per hour. They can, however, edit these stops at any point throughout the journey.
Upon selecting the hourly tier, the rider is charged a set of $50 amount. Even if the trip is cut short, the hourly rate will still be paid. The “Hourly” feature allows riders to pay for up to seven hours in advance, with the price rising by $50 for each additional hour.
It is worth noting that the rates are exclusive of tolls and other surcharges. In addition to this, any trip that runs over the hour will be charged additionally on a per-minute basis. If a trip exceeds the preset mileage limit, riders are also charged a per-mile rate for extra miles.
Across the nation, Uber has begun operating in line with new COVID-19 safety guidelines, including the requirement that both riders and drivers wear masks. Limits to the number of passengers allowed per vehicle have also been implemented. Over 3,700 full-time employees have been laid off by Uber during these trying times.
Currently, Uber’s hourly booking feature is available in 12 US cities, including Chicago, Atlanta, Washington DC, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Orland, Tampa, Philadelphia, Tacoma, Phoenix, and Seattle. Riders can expect the feature to become available in more cities in the coming weeks.
Jules is a professional content writer with a special interest in the Rideshare industry. As a freelancer, he’s passionate about providing high-quality content to businesses and website owners as clearly reflected through the articles that he provides. When he isn’t busy working, he enjoys spending his time reading a good book or hitting the gym.