Update December 4, 9:26 a.m. PT: VentureBeat has learned that Uber is delaying UberPool’s public New York launch until early next week so it can further stress-test the service.
On Thursday transportation giant Uber plans to launch its experimental carpooling service — UberPool — in all five boroughs of New York. This expansion will mark Uber’s third UberPool-supported city, following the service’s debut in Paris and San Francisco.
And with this preemptive announcement, Uber is making one stretch-goal clear: The company now aims (or at the very least, dreams) to take as many as one million cars off the road in New York.
Uber thinks it can do this, in part, because a single UberPool car can apparently take up to “8 cars off the road,” Uber regional general manager Rachel Holt told us. According to Holt, UberPool enables riders to “save up to 50% per trip” by allowing them to share their car with other riders who are taking similar trips.
UberPool may be welcomed with open arms by cash-strapped riders in New York, but the carpooling service has already faced temporary scrutiny from California state regulators, alongside similar offerings from competitors Lyft and Sidecar.
That, in addition to the slipping value of New York’s once-precious taxi medallions, could spell trouble for Uber in Gotham. Grab the popcorn.
VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.