Walking, waiting part of Uber's new service

Walking, waiting part of Uber's new service

Uber announced Wednesday its latest service will require users to take a short walk at the beginning and end of their rides to secure a faster, cheaper carpool with other riders. 

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“Express Pool,” the ride-sharing company's new service, is a variation of its existing “Uber Pool” service. To use it, riders in the same area who plan to travel to similar destinations will walk to a common destination and be picked up. They’ll then be driven to a common drop-off point, and walk a short distance to their individual destinations, according to a company press release.

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The new service is intended to address rider complaints about the “unpredictability” of Pool, according to Ethan Stock, product director for shared rides. Pool users are typically picked up and dropped off along looping routes with changing arrival times.

“Looking beyond this launch, we’re even more excited about future opportunities to integrate Express Pool and other transportation options to complement and extend the reach of public transit,” Stock said in the release.

A test run of the service has been underway in San Francisco and Boston, and launched Wednesday in Los Angeles, San Diego and Denver. It will expand on Thursday to Miami, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. 

The rollout of Express Pool comes a day after the company announced it was setting a five- to 10-year timeframe for initial operation and testing of its mass air transit efforts.