Uber is adding scheduled carpool rides and shuttle service for airports and concerts

Uber announced several new mobility products as part of its annual Go-Get conference, including shuttle service for airports and concert events and scheduled carpool trips.

Uber Shuttle, which is coming soon to select cities, allows customers to use the Uber app to book a seat in a shuttle bus when traveling to an airport or concert destination. The company says the fare will be “a fraction” of the price of a normal Uber ride.

The ridehailing and delivery company has been selected as the official partner of Live Nation, the parent company of Ticketmaster. The partnership will give Uber access to “amphitheaters across the country” as it aims to position Uber Shuttle as a crucial link between venues and mass transit hubs and parking lots. Uber is also teaming up with Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium for Dolphins games as well as Formula One and Grand Prix races.

And more importantly, Uber plans to offer shuttle service for a number of airports, with upcoming cities to be announced at a future date. Airports are a core aspect of Uber’s mobility business, and shuttles could potentially represent a new revenue source for the company.

Uber Shuttle won’t work like the company’s normal ridehailing service. Uber said it will contract with local shuttle bus providers for vehicles and drivers. Shuttle buses with between 14 and 55 seats will be eligible for the new service.

Uber Shuttle rides can be booked up to seven days in advance, and customers can reserve up to five seats in a bus. The price will also not be impacted by surge pricing, which typically spikes during major events like sports games and concerts.

This isn’t the first time Uber has flirted with high-capacity vehicles. The company launched a party bus business nearly a decade ago for transporting wedding parties, corporate event-goers, and more.

Uber is also announcing a new scheduling feature for its UberX Share carpool service. Customers can now schedule a shared ride anywhere between 10 minutes to 30 days in advance. The rides are discounted by up to 25 percent compared to a standard UberX trip, the company says.

This isn’t the first time Uber has flirted with high-capacity vehicles

Uber envisions UberX Share reservations to be especially useful during morning and evening commuting times. The company’s carpool service recently crossed $1 billion in annualized bookings, and in the most recent earnings report, Uber said that shared rides grew by a factor of six year over year — but the company doesn’t break out its shared rides revenue in its quarterly reports.

Uber discontinued its first carpool service, UberPool, during the covid-19 pandemic but later relaunched it under a new name. It was one of the cheapest options on the company’s platform, but many drivers hated it, complaining about low customer ratings, inefficient algorithms, and roundabout directions that annoyed riders despite the low fare.

Uber announced several other new products during today’s event, including Uber One memberships for college students, shareable restaurant lists in Uber Eats, new mobility accounts for caregivers of older individuals or ill relatives, and new Uber Eats perks for Costco members.

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