New Uber service to match carpoolers

WASHINGTON – A new service coming soon from ride-sharing service Uber will be able to match carpoolers.

The service, called UberPool is in private beta now in the San Francisco area and will be expanded to a wider audience later in the summer. The company announced the new service Tuesday.

“The idea is simple. With UberPool, you share a ride — and split the cost — with another person who just happens to be requesting a ride along a similar route,” Uber says on its website.

Pricing details have not yet been listed for UberPool, but the company notes it will be a good deal for commuters.

“On average, uberX already costs 40 percent less than taxi. Imagine reducing that cost by up to another 40 percent,” Uber says on the site.

Even if Uber doesn’t find another person to share the trip, those who use the UberPool app will get a discount on the ride.

Uber says the carpooling service can have big implications.

“We’ll iterate on this beta product and get it right, because the larger social implications of reducing the number of cars on the road, congestion in cities, pollution, parking challenges … are truly inspiring.”

You can sign up on the Uber website to be notified when UberPool launches locally. While launch dates have not yet been set for most cities around the U.S., Uber says expansion will begin Aug. 15.

Some people who live in the outer suburbs of D.C. are already used to using sluglines — a form of organized hitchhiking or casual carpooling where drivers pick up strangers going in the same direction to take advantage of HOV lanes. The UberPool app could add a layer of technology to the program.

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h/t: CNET

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