Tuesday, March 08, 2016

UberPool launched in East Bay this past Wednesday!

Last Wednesday, UberPool opened carpooling services in the East Bay. Based on what drivers are experiencing with these East Bay riders, UberPool needs some time to work.

Quite a few East Bay riders are confused on how UberPool works. They request an UberPool for 4 riders, but only put one rider. They put one rider and want to bring another co-rider. While running late, they use UberPool and blame drivers for showing up to work after their scheduled time.

UberPool works this way. Client inputs ride request. They must input whether there is another co-rider joining or one rider. This process keeps track of the number of riders in an UberPool.

The best way to connect future riders to trips is to accurately input the right number of riders. If a client inputs they are riding solo and bring along another rider, this complicates future ride requests. UberPool assumes there are an X amount of riders occupying this carpool trip.

Future connections put drivers in a bad predicament to ignore ride requests. If drivers ignore these ride requests, they face low acceptance rates that disqualify them from promotions. They will have to cancel riders who attempt to bring along many riders. Drivers face receiving warnings from Uber for cancelling trips at a higher level. All this happens when riders input the wrong number of riders.

UberPool end destinations cannot be changed. If rider requests another destination, then drivers face a client, who requested the ride under their account for a friend, ending this trip along the way and complicating the entire carpooling process.

San Francisco UberPool clients are more experienced with the carpooling app feature. There are times that clients make mistakes with requesting an UberPool. They assume the UberPool is an UberX. For the most part, UberPool users in San Francisco understand how this service works.

Why is UberPool a good service? Uber clients need a cheaper ride. High demand activates surge pricing. Therefore, Uber clients who share the cost of trips can reduce their share. It makes sense for one Uber vehicle to transport multiple riders from BART stations back to their homes.

East Bay riders are still learning how to use UberPool. It won't get easier, as drivers will experience conflict dealing with these riders. UberPool clients input wrong number of passengers, input wrong destinations, are usually rushing and in a hurry, take out their lack of punctuality on drivers, not ready to accept ride upon UberPool arrival, input wrong pickup address, and must deal with other riders requesting and cancelling multiple rides to lengthen trips.

With any new service, there will be problems. The East Bay holds a large group of Uber users. These riders are much tougher to deal with than San Francisco clients. They've been known to wait outside of bus stops, near red zones and in "No parking" areas to put drivers at risk of receiving citations. Uber doesn't care if drivers get tickets. Their response to this issue is: "that really sucks" and/or "that is a real bummer."

Leave it to Uber to turn the blind eye on riders making the driver experience a challenge. Fortunately, UC Berkeley students make the exception for smart East Bay riders with the intelligence to respect drivers. We can't say this about the many drunken clients using Uber in the East Bay.

Welcome to the East Bay, UberPool!