Uber Launches Ride Pass Subscription Service

Uber Ride Pass

Uber is now offering a “Ride Pass” subscription service in five US cities, starting at $14.99 a month. Subscribers can use it to lock in consistent, low prices for any ride, anywhere in the city, any time of day, and the subscription can be auto-renewed or cancelled at any time.

“Daily commute or night on the town, traffic or open roads: Ride Pass is designed to take the guesswork out of riding so you can confidently plan your day with Uber without any unwelcome surprises,” the company said in a statement.

With its Amazon Prime-style subscription service, Uber is securing its customer base and expanding services prior to an expected IPO in 2019.

Available now in Los Angeles, Austin, Orlando, Denver and Miami, $14.99 a month, ($24.99 a month in LA), riders can lock in flat rates on all their UberX and UberPool trips over the course of a month by signing up through the app.

Users in LA will soon be able to use “Ride Pass” on e-bikes and scooters for no additional cost

“We’re really keen to make sure this is priced to the point where people can buy the pass [and] not have to think too much about it,” Dan Bilen, product manager at Uber, told The Verge. “The vision for Ride Pass is it makes Uber a budgeted line-item for riders.”

Rates will be based on historical data and are independent from weather, traffic and surge pricing. Drivers will make the same money, requiring Uber to assume any costs.

Engadget notes, “It’s an interesting move for the ride-hailing service as it reportedly lost $891 million this past quarter. And having to pay another $148 million due to the 2016 data breach doesn’t help either. But the company continues to diversify, with the electric scooter market as its latest attempt at increasing revenue.”

Competitor Lyft launched an All-Access Plan of $299 for 30 rides monthly earlier this month, but Uber’s offering is distinctive as Ride Pass guarantees a low fare despite weather and peak hours.

While Lyft is encouraging people to swap their personal vehicles and rely on ride-hailing for daily travel, Bilen said, “People aren’t ready to make that commitment yet. We see this as a place to start. And if they get there in the future, great, but that’s a different strategy than we’re taking.”

Uber went live in July 2010 in San Francisco, followed by New York in 2011, and said at the time: Uber is revolutionizing urban transportation with mobile technology, algorithms, and tons of innovation. We are ‘Everyone’s Private Driver’. You hit a button on your phone and within minutes a car appears to whisk you on to your destination.

Seven years on, Ride Pass is the next logical step for this uber-disruptor, shoring up riders against on-demand taxi churn as competition for riders and their dollars continues to escalate.

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