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June 19, 2018

Uber is testing a low-fare option that’s great if you’re not in a rush

by John_A

Uber rides could be about to get even cheaper, though you’ll have to wait around a bit to secure the lower fares.

A new feature currently being tested by the ridesharing company offers a lower fare if you’re prepared to wait a little longer for your car to arrive.

Spotted by Quartz, it seems that an Uber employee accidentally jumped the gun in revealing the feature. The employee in question posted a tweet showing a screenshot of the cheaper fare option when he requested a ride in Berkeley, California recently.

The image suggests the request was made at 4.56 p.m. or shortly before, with the Uber fare for a ride “now” calculated at $10.18. However, wait until just 5 p.m. and the fare drops to $8.15, representing a decent enough saving for a slight delay in your pick-up time.

Uber confirmed the feature to Quartz, saying: “The option to wait longer in exchange for a cheaper ride is being tested among all Uber employees in San Francisco and Los Angeles.”

It added: “Affordability is a top reason riders choose shared rides, and we’re internally experimenting with a way to save money in exchange for a later pickup.”

An Uber fare for a particular route can change throughout the day depending on the estimated journey time, traffic conditions, and the number of riders and drivers using the app at any given moment. The feature currently being tested gives Uber more control over managing demand, taking pressure off the service during busy periods or other times of the day when there are fewer Uber drivers on the road.

Keep in mind, however, the feature is currently being tested, so it’s not certain it will ever make it to the Uber app for all riders to use. We’ll keep you posted.

Another way Uber riders can score cheaper fares is through its Express Pool service, though it’s currently only available in a limited number of locations. When you select the option, Uber’s app works fast to gather several other people taking roughly the same route, before directing you to a nearby pick-up point where your fellow riders will also be waiting. The Uber vehicle will then drop you all off at the same location, which should be a short walk from your respective destinations.

Of course, many cities have other ridesharing services besides Uber. Lyft, which remains Uber’s biggest ridesharing rival in the U.S., also offers a number of different ride options depending on cost and convenience. If you’ve yet to use Uber of Lyft but you’re thinking about hopping aboard, do take a moment to check out Digital Trends’ recent comparison of the two services to find out which one is best for you.

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