Ride sharing with UberPOOL is now available in Australia

Christopher Zinn explains how the new Uber ride-sharing feature works and how you can get around this Easter weekend

With the Easter weekend fast approaching, we’re all thinking about how we can make the most of the four-day weekend. But what’s the cheapest way to get around if you’re leaving the car at home?

If you’re looking for even cheaper travel, you’re in luck. Uber has today announced the launch of a new ride-sharing feature — UberPOOL — which will allow you to share your Uber trip with other passengers and potentially quarter the cost of your ride.

TODAY chatted to consumer campaigner Christopher Zinn to find out what it’s all about, and to get some tips on other ways to travel this Easter Weekend.

TODAY: What is this new ride sharing feature and when will it be available?

ZINN: It starts in Sydney only to begin with, on April 3. The idea is UberPOOL matches you with someone else going from a similar place to a similar destination at a similar time. They say you can save up to 50% of the UberX fare but you have a walk a little to a pick up spot and perhaps again at a drop off spot. So things may take a little longer. You also have to share the vehicle with another passenger which maybe good and maybe not. It’s been popular overseas but not always with drivers, who lose out on full paying fares.

TODAY: How does this differ from Taxify in terms of cost?

ZINN: Hard to be definitive as the two ride apps have specials and claim to be cheaper. But the UberPOOL subject to the limitations outlined in terms of extra walking and time needed will drive even more competition.

TODAY: Do regular taxis have any offers available for the long weekend?

ZINN: I’m not aware of any special offers available from regular taxis over the long weekend, but ask anyway!

TODAY: What about public transport over the Easter holiday?

ZINN: There are free buses to cope with the crowds at Noosa and extra bus and train services for the Royal Easter Show in Sydney — check and see what’s happening in your patch.

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