Uber to Launch Pet-based Pricing in Select Cities

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
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.

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2 of 12 comments
  • R Henry R Henry on Oct 10, 2019

    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.

  • Dwford Dwford on Oct 10, 2019

    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?

  • Jim Bonham Thanks.
  • Luke42 I just bought a 3-row Tesla Model Y.If Toyota made a similar vehicle, I would have bought that instead. I'm former Prius owner, and would have bought a Prius-like EV if it were available.Toyota hasn't tried to compete with the Model Y. GM made the Bolt EUV, and Ford made the Mach-E. Tesla beat them all fair and square, but Toyota didn't even try.[Shrug]
  • RHD Toyota is trying to hedge their bets, and have something for everyone. They also may be farther behind in developing electric vehicles than they care to admit. Japanese corporations sometimes come up with cutting-edge products, such as the Sony Walkman. Large corporations (and not just Japanese corporations) tend to be like GM, though - too many voices just don't get heard, to the long-term detriment of the entity.
  • Randy in rocklin The Japanese can be so smart and yet so dumb. I'm America-Japanese and they really can be dumb sometimes like their masking paranoia.
  • Bunkie The Flying Flea has a fascinating story and served, inadvertently, to broaden the understanding of aircraft design. The crash described in the article is only part of the tale.