Uber launches hourly ride booking option in some U.S. cities

Uber Hourly is like having a personal driver — for an hour

The new trip category will let riders make multiple stops over the course of a single ride. Riders can see the $50 hourly rate at a glance and compare to other options before committing to the trip. Uber is looking to tap in on riders who would have used public transport to run a bunch of errands and are now not doing it because of the pandemic.

"While we're encouraging riders to continue following local health guidelines and travel only as necessary, we've also been listening to their feedback about ways our platform can facilitate opportunities they're looking for", Uber Director of Rider Operations Niraj Patel said in a statement. Uber has chose to introduce the measure as users wanted a way to extend trips, instead of being exposed to multiple vehicles and drivers if they needed to go to various locations during one trip. It'll save some money compared to booking back-to-back trips each time they're needed.

The new feature will set you back $50 (about £41/AU$75) per hour, with a variable add-on fee if you cover a lot of miles.

Some restrictions have been put in place though. It will be available in these cities beginning June 2nd, and eligible drivers can opt-in for Hourly trip requests in Uber's Work Hub. Customers will be charged a per minute rate for trips that exceed the time limit, or the per mile rate for trips that exceed the mileage limit.

Uber Hourly is like having a personal driver — for an hour

Uber piloted the Hourly option in cities across Africa, Australia, Europe and the Middle East.

Users in the aforementioned USA cities can access Uber Hourly starting on Tuesday, June 2.

Uber is now bringing the hourly function to 12 cities in the United States. The product will be available in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Orlando, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Tacoma, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Uber said it expects to expand this feature into other USA cities in the coming weeks.

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