If there’s one thing you can say about Uber, it’s that they’re constantly changing. From when they were testing subscription services to protecting drivers and passengers from an early (February) case of COVID-19, to putting systems into place to ensure that drivers and passengers wear facial coverings, they’re a mixture of throwing things against the wall to see what sticks, and keeping their drivers and passengers safe.
So what’s their latest? They’ve just launched Uber Hourly in select markets.
Uber Hourly allows you to rent a driver and his/her car for $50 per hour, plus tolls, tips and surcharges (i.e. adding a car seat). The concept was successfully piloted in cities across Australia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East and is currently available in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, D.C., Houston, Miami, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle, Tacoma, and Tampa Bay.
You can request an Uber Hourly trip similar to how you would do a regular on-demand Uber ride (select a destination, enter additional stops and opt for the Uber Hourly option). You’ll get matched with a driver and receive vehicle info, same as always. And then during those 60 (or 120, 180, whatever) minutes, you can make as many stops as you want. So if you have a bunch of errands to run, you can go from place to place to place, all with the same driver.
You can rent your driver for even longer – up to 7 hours. That could get you almost 1/3 down the eastern seaboard. And at $50/hour with, say, 3 passengers in the car, it could wind up being cheaper than 3 one-way plane tickets and saves you the time of going to/from the airport, getting through the TSA checkpoint, and being in a metal can with people who may be harboring who knows what sort of illnesses.
Here’s what Uber Hourly looks like on the Uber app:
Uber Hourly cars are newer and more spacious makes/models that would normally be eligible for Uber Comfort.
Depending on circumstances, it could be a viable alternative for some.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary