On a recent UberPool trip, an Uber driver asked his client how he liked UberPool. This client said, "Riding with strangers and being uncomfortable?" Nobody likes riding with strangers. Everybody hates it! I take UberPool for the cost. That's all."
What this Uber client is sharing is that UberPool is uncomfortable. Most riders dislike connecting with strangers, as shown in many UberPool rides. Two Uber clients usually greet one another upon connection, and then it is up to the driver to keep this trip interesting.
What we hear is that UberPool users feel awkward. Most riders sit back playing with their phones, remain quiet and/or just have these awkward looks planted on their faces. UberPool should be fun, but people dislike forced social interaction. Their main intent to use UberPool is to save money.
The perception thrown out there is that meeting strangers is fun and unique. However, a large majority of riders are just interested in reaching their destination as quickly and cheaply as possible. That's it. Social connections resemble awkward experiences in bars and clubs.
There are a few UberPool trips in which Uber clients hit it off like best friends. Therefore, UberPool can connect people and make new friendships. In clubs, we mostly see friends gravitating toward friends. Confident, comfortable and interesting people start conversations with strangers, which is also the case in UberPool rides. However, antisocial riders would rather avoid interaction.
UberPool trips force two strangers to sit together in a closed space. Unlike a bus, BART, Muni and other modes of public transportation, there is limited space in UberPool rides. When two UberPool riders sit in close proximity, this makes carpool trips uncomfortable. Riders shared that long trips into downtown San Francisco are painfully unbearable.
One way to counteract this awkward experience is to sit upfront with the driver. If backseat riders want to socialize, they will. It really depends on these riders, whether their intent is to meet new people or to save money. Hybrid riders who want to meet new people and save money are ideal UberPool users. Otherwise, UberX is the best service option to avoid unpleasant rides with strangers.
This UberPool rider would rather remain silent throughout his trips. He has no interest socializing with connected riders. He told his driver that he usually get matched up 100 percent of the time on his morning commute. Although this Uber client dislikes matching up with complete strangers, he believes doing this to save money is worth awkward, uncomfortable moments during his commute to work.
What are ways to make UberPool less awkward and uncomfortable? Share on #UberPool on Twitter.