By on October 9, 2019

Uber is testing pet pricing in North America to see if it can minimize surprise cancellations stemming from unexpected animal passengers while simultaneously hoping to make itself some money. The program, entitled Uber Pet, launches in select cities on October 16th and tacks on a small surcharge while giving drivers the right to refuse service in advance.

As difficult as it is to believe, not everyone loves animals — and even fewer like having strange ones making a mess of their personal vehicle. One of the most common complaints among Uber drivers is people bringing aboard pets unannounced. 

The Verge reports that pricing will be displayed upfront for passengers, resulting in a $3-5 fee that will be clearly displayed on the app. Once a ride has been requested, only drivers who have opted into accepting pets will be able to take the fare. According to the outlet, a “significant portion” of the surcharge will go to the driver.

We looked into how much money that actually entails, and only came up with Uber promising $2 per trip in Singapore, which it said would be added to weekly pay statement and subject to taxes — meaning drivers only get $1.60.

At that rate, it doesn’t really seem worth it. While we envision most pets being well behaved, one rowdy beast could do hundreds of dollars in damages before a driver even realizes what’s going on. A few bucks won’t cover new upholstery for the entire back seat, even if Uber offers North American drivers more than those in Asia.

Service animals will be exempt from additional charges in accordance with federal laws. The first U.S. cities entering the program will be Austin, Denver, Nashville, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Tampa Bay.

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12 Comments on “Uber to Launch Pet-based Pricing in Select Cities...”


  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    They should also offer passengers the option of refusing to ride in vehicles that carry animals.

  • avatar
    gasser

    I’ve used Uber once or twice with my dog on board. Of course she was only 17# at the time, and I promised the driver that I would keep her in my lap throughout the trip.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      I can fit both my dogs (combined weight about the same as yours) in a portable kennel. I would hope that they’d be OK with that.

      If they felt they needed to charge me a few bucks, so be it.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    What if my car is a dog?

  • avatar

    My cat is a progressive pet and refuses to ride in anything emitting CO2. It takes me a lot of effort to convince him to go to Veterinarian in my own car let alone Uber. Probably my next car will be Tesla.

  • avatar
    thejohnnycanuck

    I knew someone who had his Irish Wolfhound ride in the back of an X5 with black carpeting. It didn’t take long before the back looked the same colour as the dog. I honestly don’t know how you’d ever get that much dog hair out.

    We also have two dogs who love to shed. It’s amazing how even after covering every surface with seat covers and old comforters their fur still finds its way into every nook and cranny.

  • avatar
    SPPPP

    Uber Pet Phase II is when the pets are the drivers. It’s pretty much a bridge between now, with human drivers, and stage 5 autonomy. Plus they don’t seem to mind sleeping in their cars and subsisting on pet food (not like those whiny drivers Uber has now).

  • avatar
    R Henry

    I wish airlines would charge for a whole seat when dogs are brought on board–anything to put and end to uncrated pets on planes. I travel on biz A LOT, and over the past year have witnessed a sharp increase in the number of animals brought on flights. It has become ridiculous.

    Pets belong at home, not on planes. Not at Home Depot either. If you love your pet, great. I don’t.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Too little, too late. Uber passengers already know that drivers are not allowed to refuse “service animals,” and regularly abuse that. Why would they start paying for something they can bully the driver into accepting for free?

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