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Home / Business / Carpooling is a fight against social norms – Quartz

Carpooling is a fight against social norms – Quartz



Uber believes that shared travel is the key to his future, but getting people to share is a "struggle" against "social norms," ​​Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said Wednesday (April 11) a podium event in Washington DC. 19659002] The Ride Hailing company is investing heavily in shared ride services UberPool and Express Pool, a recently launched version of Pool that ask customers to pick a better pickup spot along their route in exchange for a steep discount. Uber's spending on Express Pool subsidies, which started in February and is available in eight US cities, including DC, amounts to "hundreds of millions of dollars a year," Khosrowshahi said. Express Pool can be 50% cheaper than normal UberPool and 75% less than a private ride.

"What we find is that there are these social norms that we need to fight," he said. "People are used to traveling by subway, it's a ride together, you're going to be with a lot of other people, it does not feel weird, you go on the bus, it does not feel weird They share a car with someone else and it feels a bit strange. "

Uber scored a $ 70 billion valuation and became a household name by providing private rides at the touch of a button via smartphone , But the company has recently downplayed private rides and instead focused on becoming a full transit hub. The move started under Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick and has accelerated significantly since Khosrowshahi took over the CEO job last August after Kalanick was overthrown in a messy power struggle.

The company is now clearing stores to bring alternative means of transport to market its platform immediately. Uber said Wednesday it will make car rentals available from its app later this month in San Francisco through a partnership with car sharing startup Getaround. In addition, the company is working with Masabi, a London-based mobile ticket company, to help customers book and use public transport tickets within the Uber App. Earlier this week, Uber announced the acquisition of Jump Bikes, a provider of dockless electric bikes that will be accessible via the Uber App.

Joint rides are central to Uber's vision, also because pool should be theoretical Improve margins on rides by putting more people in each car. But despite its roots in the so-called sharing economy, Uber had to "discount very aggressively" to get people to try out common rides, Khosrowshahi said. In San Francisco, where nearly half of the Uber rides are shared during rush hour, the company spent $ 1

million a week on discounts at one point, Buzzfeed reported last year.

"The combination of social norms and then the question" When will I get there? "Are real friction points that we had to tackle and that's why we are investing heavily in this mode of transport," Khosrowshahi said. Shared rides are usually slower than private rides, as the rides are less direct and require more stops.

Read Khosrowshahi's Complete Comments on Carpooling:

We invest hundreds of millions of dollars each year in our Express Pool product, and what we find is that there are these social norms that we need to fight. People are used to taking the subway, it's a ride together, you'll be with a lot of other people. It does not feel funny. You go on the bus, it does not feel funny. You're sharing a car with someone else, and it feels kind of weird. Should you talk to them, what do you say, can you work, can you talk to your phone, etc.

So, we have to discount very aggressively – much more than you think – shared ride and express pool rides to make people try out this new kind of transport that we think should be a much, much larger type of transport. And the more people you share, the more powerful it becomes. The economy becomes more powerful and so on. And the combination of social norms and then the question of when exactly I get there are real friction points we were struggling with, and that's why we're investing heavily in this kind of transport.

And we see unbelievably encouraging results in some cities. In San Francisco, our headquarters, nearly 50% of our trips are shared during rush hour. So it can happen, but it requires sustainable investment. It requires big investments. And it is something we are very much attached to.


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