London said goodbye to Uber last week, banning the beleaguered company from operating as of Sept. 30.
Now the pioneer of the electronic ride-hailing industry faces a battle in New York, where city officials have been urged to follow London and restore the yellow cab business that was a staple of transportation in New York City until Uber disrupted the industry.
But in the midst of these issues in major markets, the company is soldiering on.
Today Uber announced several updates to UberPOOL including the introduction of a flat-fare for drivers who stop to pick up an additional rider.
"The value that Uber has delivered to cities and riders has been pretty clear, we haven’t done enough to do the same for drivers," said Rachel Holt, VP of Business Operations for US and Canada.
UberPOOL was introduced to the Atlanta market in 2015, but it really took off earlier this year when the company launched "Commuting Together" a campaign to help the city get through the I-85 shutdown.
During that time period, UberPOOL trips doubled during commuter hours to and from Marta stations particularly from the Doraville, College Park, Indian Creek, North Springs and Five Points Stations. Uber picked up more than 8,000 new UberPOOL riders after the I-85 collapse.
To capitalize on those gains, the company began offering half-price UberPOOL rides to and from Marta Stations from July 31 though Sept. 29 .
Now with the latest enhancement to the driver experience, Uber drivers will make an extra flat fare every time they make an additional pickup. In Atlanta, that amounts to an additional $0.50 cents with each pickup -- so a POOL driver with two riders would make an extra $1.
Uber representatives note that UberPOOL riders will pay the upfront fare they receive, regardless of additional pickups and Uber will also be shouldering a portion of the cost for UberPOOL pickup fares.
UberPOOL riders will also have access to more information on how the service works including tips such as being at the curb when the driver arrives.
Drivers will be able to give qualitative feedback on riders who receive less than five stars and when riders give low ratings for things beyond a driver's control -- such as the behavior of other POOL riders -- it won't count against the driver's rating.
POOL drivers can also expect to see improvements in the app including routing that offers straighter paths with fewer turns and corner locations and safer locations for pickup and drop-off of POOL riders.
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