Ridesharing services already have carpooling services that let you share a ride with strangers, but they’re designed for typical commuting distances, not the city-to-city jaunts that can define commutes in places like the San Francisco Bay Area. That’s where Uber hopes it can make a difference.
It just launched a trial run for Pool to SF, an option that gets you from South Bay cities to San Francisco in the morning. You’ll usually pay between $20 to $26, but that’s potentially much cheaper than the fuel and parking costs you’d face with your own vehicle. If you have a friend tagging along, you can slap on another $10 and divvy up the fare later on.
There’s no mention of whether or not Pool to SF will become a regular option, and there’s no matching counterpart to get you home (you’ll have to settle for regular Uber or, gasp, conventional transport).
However, the hope is that this sort of service will eventually become a mainstay in sprawling areas where driving yourself is a hassle, yet mass transit isn’t always practical. One day, you could get a relatively quick out-of-town trip without paying through the nose for a taxi.