Business

Uber brings a cheaper SUV service, UberXL, to San Francisco

An Uber SUV. Not to be confused with the much cheaper UberXL SUV.

Above: An Uber SUV. Not to be confused with the much cheaper UberXL SUV.

Image Credit: Uber.com

For those times when the party is not just breaking up, but moving to a whole new location, the typical Uber car might feel a little cramped.

So it’s probably not coincidence that Uber decided to launch its low-cost SUV car service in San Francisco just in time for Bay to Breakers, which is ostensibly a foot race but is in reality all about partying from location to location.

The new service lets Uber customers hail an SUV instead of a regular car (which the company’s UberX service already offers) or a luxury sedan (UberBlack). The SUVs will seat up to six passengers, and you can use the company’s fare-split feature to divvy up the fees between the riders.

The rates are a bit higher than the UberX service, with an extra $2 charged for the base fare ($6 versus the usual $4 for UberX), a higher per-minute fee, and a per-mile fee of $2.15 instead of $1.50.

But UberXL is cheaper than the usual UberSUV service, which has a base far of $15 and a $3.75 per minute mileage fee.

That, of course, raises the question: If you can get an SUV ride so much cheaper with UberXL, why would anyone choose the pricier UberSUV?

And why does Uber have so many confusingly-named fare options, all of which have different prices and yet offer no particularly different features other than the appearance of the car’s exterior?

The company estimates a cross-town ride from the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park to the Mission district with UberXL will cost about $17.

UberXL is already available in Sydney, Singapore, and Boston.


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