I love Uber, but I HATE Uberpool.
Does Uberpool make them more money?
They were pushing it pretty hard before. For a while I had to spend 10-30 seconds to get out of the uberpool offer attempts and order a regular Uber.
As an Uber driver, Pool makes Uber money mainly because the pay to the driver is MUCH lower. And this matters because Uber has had to subsidize what drivers are paid versus the fare charged to riders. This is why Uber is losing so much money. Pool rides charge significantly lower fares and pay the drivers far less.
Meanwhile it does two useful things for Uber: One, it keeps the riders using Uber versus a competing service or transport method. They want that mindshare lock. Two, it keeps the Uber drivers busy and saturated with work in many cases, which keeps them out on the roads and makes them available for other pool riders or Uber Eats or XL services. Uber's biggest weakness is not having cars available when riders want them so this helps address that.
Uber Eats is Pool for food and it's getting a huge push. It sucks for drivers because you end up stuck at restaurants waiting for food to be ready. Restaurants HATE IT because the Uber tablets nag them to accept the order and immediately dispatch a driver to pick it up long before the food is ready, and if the restaurant does not acknowledge the order in a hurry, Uber starts calling them to nag. Uber Eats also pays drivers a pittance and we end up with bad reviews because the food is cold, which is not our fault. They stack multiple order pick ups and we have to wait wait wait for all of them to be ready, so even if one order IS ready, we have to wait for the next one. And we're sitting there making zero money while all this goes on.
And then the food stinks up the car which makes human riders mad.
Meanwhile. Pool is a disaster for drivers who could make, say $15 on an XL run would instead make $3.75 on a Pool ride, both being before gas and taxes are taken out. I've had Pool riders where the trip generated under two dollars to me. Less than bus fare! And that was on a 15 mile trip pickup from the airport far out in the suburbs. With the fuel cost, I absolutely lost money on that run. And it should be noted, Drivers has no idea what the destination is or the fare until after they have picked up the rider. So I didn't know I would only be paid two bucks or even WHY only two bucks.
Additionally, there is a lot of confusion among riders on what Pool even means. I picked up a couple going to the airport with luggage. They were under a time constraint to make their flight. Not normally an issue but they had chosen Pool because they had two people and figured that's what you do when you have two people. They had no idea what Pool meant.
Uber immediately paired up these travellers with a sweaty man going home from the gym. It was on our way but it added at least 15 minutes to the trip due to really bad traffic I could have otherwise avoided. It threatened to make these people late and caused a lot of concern. It definitely did make them very unhappy as they'd wanted a fast ride to the airport and got a smelly shared ride with a man who also got angry that the other people were mad at him. The car was also totally full of people and luggage and gym bags at that point so nobody enjoyed any of it and I had a car full of pissed off people.
I could not cancel Gym Dude before pickup because that would affect my ratings and anyway Uber would just assign another Pool rider to me, maybe worse than the one I had. I could not expedite the airport drop off because Gym Dude was on the way, technically, even if his side trip dragged us into bad traffic. Everybody ended up unhappy on that run, through zero fault of mine. I got one star rated by both parties and of course no tips.
So I contacted Uber Support and demanded to be let out of Pool. I don't need passengers almost fighting in my car over something I can't control. Uber refused. They don't give a shit. And why should they? The local Uber office is SRO with new drivers trying to sign up. Uber has so many new drivers coming in, they literally do not care if any others get fed up and leave. They have plenty more. And if they actually do end up short of drivers, it simply lets them do more Surge fares and bring in more money.