How about booking your ride an hour early? Uber has announced a feature that will let you book a ride for up to 7 hours ahead for $50 an hour. The new hourly feature dubbed “Hourly booking” that will let the company restructure and survive through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new announcement will also help the company maximize profits after the recent job cuts and the closure of Uber offices worldwide. Uber’s hourly booking service is already available in several international cities in Australia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, but this is the first time it’s being offered in North America.
Uber’s hourly booking will be rolled out in 12 US cities as of June 2, including Atlanta, Chicago, Washington DC, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Tacoma and Seattle. The company plans to expand to other US cities in the coming weeks.
“We’re launching Hourly booking to provide riders a more convenient way to get things done,” Niraj Patel, Uber’s director of rider operations, said in a statement. “And to provide an additional earnings opportunity for drivers as we move forward in this ‘new normal.’”
ith the new offering, passengers can book Uber rides like normal and enter their first stop as the destination. They then have the choice to add multiple stops and select “hourly” from the ride menu. Those stops can be changed if necessary. Uber will show passengers the price difference between hourly and other ride options.
If the trip takes less time than the rider booked, a rider will still have to pay for the hours they selected. The feature also comes with an hourly mileage limit. Some cities have 40-mile limits per hour. If trips run longer than what the passenger booked, they’ll be charged at a per-minute rate. Similarly, if they go further than the mileage limit, riders will be charged a per-mile rate.