Want a cheaper ride to the airport? Uber says its new shuttle feature can help

The company announced the new offering at its annual conference and said it'll cost riders a "fraction" of a regular UberX price.
Posted at 5:53 PM, May 15, 2024

Heading off on vacation is likely no small cost, and the high price of an Uber just to get to the plane never helps. But the rideshare company says its new feature is sure to ease your wallet woes the next time you have to fly.

As part of its annual Go-Get conference, Uber announced several product updates aimed at saving customers money, including Uber Shuttle.

The new feature will allow riders to book up to five seats on a local shuttle service coming from a central location to the same destination — like an airport, concert, sporting event or even work — all for a "fraction" of the price of a regular Uber ride, the company said. And the option won't be affected by surge pricing, which often kicks in when travelers are all wanting rides at the same time.

Riders who choose Uber Shuttle will be able to book their seat up to a week in advance, and they'll use a QR code ticket to board. The company said that although it's partnering with local shuttle services that provide commercially licensed drivers, Uber riders will still be able to rate and tip them using the app, as with any other ride.

Uber Shuttle option is shown.
Uber Shuttle option is shown.

Uber Shuttle is made possible in part by Uber's partnership with select Live Nation amphitheaters in Chicago, Pittsburgh and Charlotte and Miami's Hard Rock Stadium, which hosts Dolphins games as well as Formula One and Grand Prix races. It said a future announcement will reveal which city airports will provide the shuttle service.

The rideshare feature was previously rolled out as a corporate offering, but it's not the only larger ride product Uber has toyed with. It also has a charter service offering everything from party buses to limousines.

It's also not the only carpool product the company is rolling out. Uberannounced at its conference its adding a scheduling feature to its UberX Share service, which will allow users to reserve their seat anytime from 10 minutes to 30 days ahead. It says this will save riders an average of 25% compared to a regular UberX price.

The money-saving offerings come as Uber recently reported a net loss of $654 million for the first quarter of 2024, a surprise to most analysts who expected the company to be profitable. But legal battles and the overall shifting consumer mindset haven't helped, and the latter is causing other companies to similarly shift toward affordability-focused ventures while customers pull back on spending.

Other updates revealed at Uber's event included student Uber One memberships offered at half-price, a "lists" feature on Uber Eats, and Uber Caregiver. That feature will allow people listed as a caregiver in one's Uber account to "book their loved ones' rides to doctor appointments, purchase medical supplies," or order their groceries.