Ride-hailing giant, Uber has rolled out a new feature called Uber Reserve that lets you book a ride 30 days in advance.
Although booking rides in advance aren’t exactly new to Uber, the new feature has some new and better twerks on how drivers are connected with riders and an added service fee to incentivize drivers to accept the bookings.
The process for booking a scheduled ride is much more streamlined as rides can be booked as much as 30 days in advance but no less than two hours before the scheduled pickup.
Uber Reserve will start rolling out in 20 US cities this week with other markets to follow later.
Before now, Uber lets customers book rides in advance but wouldn’t match them with a driver until at least 15 minutes before the scheduled pickup time.
Now, customers using Reserve will be matched with a driver two hours ahead of their pickup and presented with an upfront fare.
Uber has updated its algorithm to improve the matching process so drivers aren’t being forced to choose between scheduled rides and on-demand ones.
There will also be 15 minutes of wait time built into the pickup, so customers don’t feel too pressured.
Uber Reserve costs more
The upfront fares will include a service fee ranging from $8 to $12, depending on the market.
According to Geoffrey Tam-Scott, product manager at Uber, the extra service fee helps make the trip attractive to the drivers.
“Obviously these trips are more expensive than the on-demand version of the trip. We’re trying to enable between the rider and driver the most reliable, assured experience that is possible. And so by adding this extra fee to the fare it makes the trips more attractive to drivers.”Geoffrey Tam-Scott, product manager at Uber
Although booking increases the cost of rides, the upfront cost could help avoid the price surge on rides during peak hours when ride price can rise as much as 1.5x to 2x the normal price range.
Also, if anything goes wrong and the driver doesn’t make it, you will receive $50 in credit to use within the Uber app.
In Summary, the new Uber reserve presents a new way to plan travel especially at a time when ride revenue is recovering.
Uber believes that this new Reserve feature will gain traction in the world of business travel. Tam-Scott says it could also be used for booking a ride to a doctor’s appointment or for grocery shopping.
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