Uber now offers tiny bus rides in Denver

The ride-share company now offers an Express Pool feature that eliminates “the unpredictability that sharing can bring.”

15th Street seen from the Confluence Denver, Oct. 26, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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If you want cheaper fare and you’re afraid of the bus, Uber has a deal for you, Denver.

The ride-share company now offers an Express Pool feature that eliminates “the unpredictability that sharing can bring,” according to a press release, by having everyone in the pool walk to a pickup location that makes the route simpler. The rides will cost up to 50 percent less than a normal pool.

So, it works like a bus, but the routes aren’t fixed.

The feature didn’t appear when I downloaded the Uber app, but to try to gauge the pricing in Denver, I looked at an Uber Pool ride from my Cheesman Park apartment to Union Station. At 8:50 a.m., it came up at $7.92. At the maximum half off, that’s $3.96 — a little more than a dollar over a one-way bus trip (on two buses). Keep in mind, too, that a one-day pass for RTD buses is $5.20.

 But Ashley — you (and Andy) are saying to me right now — people are taking Uber no matter what, so it doesn’t hurt to make it more efficient.

Well… now it’s time for another edition of Andy and Ashley Argue.

Ashley: I mean, sure but if you’re worried about cost and willing to walk, just take the bus. What’s the reason to walk five blocks to an Uber instead of a bus?

Andy: Potentially shows up faster and more reliably.

Ashley: They have to sit in the same traffic.

Andy: Yeah, but they’re running based on demand rather than fixed headways, so it potentially runs a more efficient route — customized, I think, based on who needs it.

And that’s when we got talking about Wired’s thoughtful look at the pros and cons and how conversations about ride sharing can help us think more critically about public transportation. Since we’re not in the business of tech and transportation essay writing, I’ll leave you in Wired’s capable hands.

Ashley Dean

Author: Ashley Dean

Ashley Dean is the assistant editor and culture reporter for Denverite. She previously covered music and did some copy editing for the Denver Post, the Colorado Daily and the Daily Camera. She's from New York, likes bourbon straight and dreams of someday holding the title of Nightlife Mayor. Find her at adean@denverite.com, 303-502-2804 or @AshleyDean.