Uber launches car pool service in London

Taxi app Uber has launched a new service for Londoners, allowing them to share journeys and cut costs as well as emissions.

The new car-pooling service, UberPOOL, allows Uber users to share lifts with other people using the app. UberPOOL will allow up to three people to share a car, with each passenger saving up to 25 per cent of the standard fare.

Besides the financial benefit of share- taxi rides, the service is also designed to cut down on inefficient journeys by reducing road mileage and vehicle emission. The company also believes the idea will help reduce the number of cars on the road, reducing congestion.

‘We could materially reduce the cost for riders, help cut mileage and emissions and – as the cost of convenient, reliable, on-demand transport comes down – ultimately take cars off the road by making the need to own your own car a thing of the past. Not only that but UberPOOL means drivers have more fares, more of the time – so everyone benefits. That makes it the best choice for your driver, your wallet and your city,’ Uber said in its statement.

The UberPOOL scheme was first launched in San Francisco, where it now accounts for more than half of all Uber trips in the city.

According to Jo Bertram, Uber’s general manager in the UK, the pool service is a potential ‘game-changer for a city where a million people still drive to work each day with nobody else in the car’ – The Telegraph cited in a report.

The service was launched in London on Friday, December 4. The UberPOOL service will initially only be available for journeys that start in central London or at Heathrow.

The move comes as Transport for London (TfL) is considering new regulations for private-hire cars. The proposals put forward by TfL in September include a compulsory five-minute wait time after ordering a car, the ability to book a ride a week in advance, and set fares before the journey, among others.