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Uber Finally Makes Its Carpool Service a Little Less Inconvenient

Uber logo on a vehicle near Union Square in San Francisco, CaliforniaUber logo on a vehicle near Union Square in San Francisco, California

The upside of Uber’s carpooling service: cheaper prices. The downside: not knowing how long your ride will take while the driver drops off other passengers.

Uber is regularly adding or updating features, but the latest that tells passengers when they’ll arrive—and provides $2 off their next carpool if they’re late—may be one of the most useful yet.

UberPool, which the ride-hailing company debuted in 2014, lets passengers share their ride with others going in the same direction in exchange for much lower fares. But as Uber notes in its blog post about the new feature: “Sometimes time is of the essence. When you’re rushing to make a flight or a job interview, you can’t afford to be late.”

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This last part is exactly why many passengers (including yours truly) likely skip on the carpool when in a rush or need to be somewhere at a specific time. So far, UberPool, and rival Lyft’s own version of the service, have been for times of leisure, without a strict schedule.

Uber will first introduce the new “Arrive By” feature in Los Angeles, with plans to expand to more cities soon, according to its blog. Since its debut almost two years ago, Uber says that passengers have taken more than 100 million UberPool rides worldwide, and more than 100,000 weekly trips across 18 of its top cities like New York, Los Angeles, Beijing, and Shanghai.

Now, if only Uber could figure out a way for its carpooling algorithms to stop matching me with other riders completely out of the way, I’d start taking UberPool with more confidence.