Uber, always experimenting with new ways to move people around cities, is bringing its latest carpool feature to Atlanta.
On Thursday, Uber announced that it’s launching Express Pool in Atlanta. The service is similar to its carpool feature UberPool, but with a twist. Express Pool directs multiple riders who are going in the same direction to specific pick-up locations, allowing drivers to pick up riders in a straight line rather than navigating through side streets to pick up multiple people. Drop-offs are also done in a similar manner, all in an effort to make the driver’s route more efficient.
The goal is to make the price even cheaper for riders, and make the route simpler and more efficient for the driver.
Having passengers picked up at one spot and dropped off all together sounds, well, like a bus. But that’s not quite what Uber is doing with Express Pool. These aren’t fixed pick-up and drop-off locations, like the ones used on typical city bus systems. Uber uses its technology to find the smartest locations to pick up and drop off riders, making for better, straighter and faster routes with fewer detours.
“More and more Atlantans are choosing to share their rides through Pool, including commuting to and from work and MARTA stations,” Uber Southeast General Manager Kasra Moshkani said in a statement. “It is a priority for us as a company to get more people into fewer cars, with cheaper rides for passengers, more trips for drivers and less congestion for cities over time – and launching Express Pool in Atlanta is an important step forward.”
Uber began piloting Express Pool in San Francisco and Boston last year. It officially launched in Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, Miami, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. in February. Along with Atlanta, Uber is launching Express Pool today in Chicago, Seattle and New Jersey.
UberPool has been a popular feature for the company since it launched nearly four years ago. Since 2014, riders have taken nearly 1 billion Pool rides, and UberPool makes up about 20 percent of all Uber trips in the cities where it’s available, the company says.
Editor’s note: This post has been updated to more accurately reflect the pick-up and drop-off feature for Express Pool.