Uber is rolling out a new service level for riders today, one that offers additional “comfort” features, such as extra leg room and quiet time.
Uber Comfort, as the new offering is aptly known, has been tested in a handful of U.S. markets for a few months already, but from today Uber is officially introducing the service in dozens of cities, including in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Jersey, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
Fresh from its IPO, the ride-hailing giant has been adding a bunch of new features to both its rider- and driver-focused services in recent months. Last week, for example, Uber revealed it was ramping up the global expansion of Uber Pro, which offers extra perks for top-performing drivers.
The most notable elements of Uber Comfort are that cars must be newer — generally no more than five years old. They also have to be bigger than UberX vehicles, with minimum legroom requirements of around three feet. Cars that would typically be eligible for Uber Comfort include Toyota Camry, Dodge Durango, Audi SQ7, Chevy Tahoe, and Honda Odyssey, the company said.
Moreover, riders can stipulate their ideal temperature through the app in advance and also request some quiet time — which basically means they don’t want to chat with the driver. These additional perks come at a cost, of course — prices will vary, but generally speaking Uber Comfort will cost between 20-40% more than UberX.
On the surface, these new features sound a whole lot like the options Uber added to its premium Uber Black and Uber SUV services a couple of months back, but there are some differences. On the premium Uber services, riders can request professional drivers and help with luggage and can also access premium telephone support. Uber Comfort doesn’t offer such luxuries, though drivers must maintain a rating of at least 4.85 to be eligible for Uber Comfort.
In summary, if Uber was an airline, Uber Pool might be “economy,” Uber X would be “economy plus,” Uber Comfort would be “business class,” and Uber Black would be “first class.”