Uber acts more like a bus with new ‘Smart Routes’ feature – The Technology Chronicles

Uber acts more like a bus with new ‘Smart Routes’ feature

Uber is testing a new way for customers to get around in San Francisco that looks a lot like a bus route.

(Screenshot of Uber app)

With the company’s new “Smart Routes” feature, riders are both picked up and dropped off along a popular street. Routes are designated in green within the Uber app. Smart Routes users have to walk to the designated route, just like you might a bus, in order to be picked up.

Uber already offers Uber Pool in the city, a feature that connects riders with someone else who might be headed the same way. With Uber Pool, you can still get picked up and dropped off where you’d like, you’ll just share the space in the car with someone else, and maybe venture a little off your route to accommodate that individual.

Smart Routes take away the convenience of getting picked up at home, but they add a little bit of a discount. Uber is offering customers at least a $1 discount off their ride if they choose to take advantage of the feature. Presumably, they could also end up meaning a faster ride, since everyone in the car will by default have to be headed in the exact same direction.

You can check if a Smart Route is near you by launching the Uber app and selecting Uber Pool.

There are currently two routes in the city. One route is on Valencia between 15th and 26th, and the other is up Fillmore from Haight to Bay.

Lyft is trying a similar idea with its “Hot Spots.” The spots are located in popular areas around the city. Riders get a discount for choosing to get picked up at a Hot Spot, instead of at home or elsewhere.

Uber acts more like a bus with new ‘Smart Routes’ feature – The Technology Chronicles.