Uber to Launch Pet-based Pricing in Select Cities
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.