Uber and Lyft have a cheaper alternative to the average ride — as long as you don’t mind sharing your trip with a stranger. UberPool and Lyft Line, the apps’ carpool options, allow you to match up with a rider going in the same direction for a lower fare. Read on to learn everything you need to know about rideshare carpooling before you take your first non-solo trip.
1. It’s less expensive than riding by yourself.
UberPool and Lyft Line were originally created as a more reasonably-priced ridesharing option for users on a budget. While your price will always depend on your location, shared rides can be up to 25% cheaper than solo ones. If you’re money-minded and a frequent rideshare user, using Uber or Lyft’s carpool options could save you big bucks.
2. The drop-off order isn’t the same as the pick-up order.
To ensure a smooth trip, the drop-off order is automatically determined by where each rider’s destination falls along the route. Even if you’re the first to get in the car, you might be the last to leave. It might seem unfair that you have to wait longer than your co-passengers, but just remember that you’re getting a discount. Plus, since your drop-off time is always displayed in the app, you’ll know exactly when you’ll get there from the start.
3. Surge pricing still applies.
Surge pricing (called Prime Time on Lyft) always applies to UberPool and Lyft Line trips. The surge triggered at the time of the first pickup will apply to all passengers that join the ride, even if the surge has since ended. Be sure to check for this added cost before ordering a ride to ensure that you’re not charged a small (or large) fortune.
4. You can’t change your destination once you’re on the road.
Once your trip starts, you won’t be able to alter your drop-off point. This is because the apps reference your destination when choosing who else to pick up. Remember to double-check that the address you’ve entered is correct before requesting a ride. Even if you make a mistake, you can always cancel the trip at any time and order a new ride.
5. It’s important to keep your safety in mind.
Remember: you’re riding with strangers. Even if someone seems friendly, it’s never a good idea to share personal information like your full name or where you live, study, or work. Being proactive about your safety is key, and downloading a free app like BestRides can help provide peace of mind. With BestRides, your friends and family to track your route as you go — and receive an immediate alert if anything goes wrong.
Do you have any UberPool or Lyft Line tips for first-time users? Let us know in the comments section below or on Twitter!