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UberPOOL Launch Event!

Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I've always been a die-hard Uber fan, so it felt pretty appropriate and even serendipitous to get invited to the uberPOOL launch party at the start of July. I literally just heard about the concept of uberPOOL the week before from Justin, and I was thinking how cool if it were in Singapore... and now it is!

While I've tried competitors such as Grab, Hailo and Comfort, somehow Uber's interface and general ease of getting a ride won me over a year ago - and I haven't gone back. Full disclosure: Janine and I each got $50.00 of Uber credits to take to and from the event at the MAD Museum of Art & Design, so while I took an UberExec there, we decided to uberPOOL back home together afterwards because we were so excited to try it out! Since then, I have take uberPOOL at least 10 times in the two weeks that it has launched.

But first things first, here's what happened at the launch party!


Arriving at M.A.D and checking out our Uber swags! 


Waiting for the presentation about uberPOOL by the Singapore GM!


The Muttons showed up, having taken the first ever uberPOOL ride in Singapore to the museum, and in a Honda Vezel, of course :'D (Justin and I have been playing "Honda Vezel what colour" because there are so many in Singapore now, haha).


Door gifts on the way out! It's a little Uber plant / terranium thing! Mine is still alive, FYI. I have a bad rep with plants - I even dropped mine on the way home, so Janine gave me hers out of the kindness of her heart. So more appropriately, Janine's plant is still alive? Hahaha.



So what is uberPOOL?

uberPOOL is the carpool version of Uber. An uberPOOL car is essentially the same car and drivers as uberX drivers, except this time you share the ride - and split the fare - with a fellow passenger. Even if you do not pick up anyone else along the way (lucky you!) the fare is still cheaper and will be charged exactly as quoted on the app when you make the booking.

So for example, person A is going to location B, and person C is going to location D which is on the way to location B. The app uses a special algorithm to calculate all this, and "matches" them together such that the driver picks them both up.

The app ensures that you are never taken any more than a few minutes out of your way, but that said, I have been on uberPOOL rides where I was first to get on, we picked someone up, but that person was also dropped off before me. Hence, I would definitely say that it is important to use uberPOOL with an open mind, patience and the the understanding that you may not necessarily be the first to be dropped off just because you were picked up first and of course, it won't be as fast as just taking an uberX direct, so do allot more time for your journey if you are taking uberPOOL, just in case!

So Why use uberPOOL then?

Cheaper Fares - uberPOOL  fares are 25% cheaper than normal uberX rides! This is their cheapest service, and for fellow cabbing addicts like me who are rarely in a rush and don't mind giving up a few minutes of detour to save the moolah, it's definitely worth it, especially if you are living in a part of Singapore that is more underserved by public transport (i.e. NO MRT).

Economic Opportunities - uberPOOL means that there's less down time in between rides for drivers. This means that they can spend more of their time earning money than waiting around for someone to call them. This is because every time they pick up a passenger, there is a chance they may pick up someone else on the way, and this can go on and on till the driver has to pee, haha.

Kidding!

While initially I was wondering: what if a driver needs to rest in between? Would exhausted Uber drivers become a road hazard? But so far, having used uberPOOL quite a significant number of times, this is rarely the case. Usually the driver picks up at most two parties before they do the final drop off and take a break!

Greater Efficiencies - we know that COE prices are high and owning a car in Singapore is a luxury, so hopefully by making car pooling much easier, there will be less congestion on the streets over time, and lesser environmental impact. In LA, over 150,000 gallons of gas and 1,400 metric tons of CO2 emissions have been saved because of uberPOOL! I cannot think of a better reason to use uberPOOL than to do whatever little we can to save the planet.

If you are new to Uber, get $20.00 off your first Uber ride (uberPOOL only) with the code POOLSG!

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