This week, Uber is starting a new promotion for New York City riders. For $79, users will be able to take unlimited uberPOOL rides (rides shared with strangers) during peak commute hours anywhere south of 125th Street, Slate reports.
The rides are only available from 7 to 10 a.m. and 5 to 8 p.m on weekdays, so you’ll have to pay for another Uber or take the subway if you want to get anywhere on a Saturday or Sunday. Using the uberPOOL card to commute back and forth to work brings the cost per ride to just under $2. By comparison, an unlimited monthly MetroCard costs about $116. Which makes Uber a pretty decent deal if you are the kind of person who doesn’t need much transportation beyond getting to work each day. (Find out more about purchasing a card here.)
The commuter cards are currently just a one-month promotion and not a long-term product for Uber. Rather, they’re an experiment that lets the company dip its toes even deeper into the waters of private mass transit. Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick has made no secret that he believes the answer to traffic problems, like gridlock, is ride-sharing. And while it’s easy to laugh at the idea of a man who owns a ride-sharing company promoting ride sharing as the future, he might not be so far off, as traditional subways and roads get more and more crowded each year.
Of course, it’s not a perfect fix. At least, not yet. While taking an Uber to work might save you some money over the course of the next month, there are also those days where driving to work, even in a shared ride situation, takes longer than the subway. (This is coming from someone whose commute options are driving down the parking lot known as Second Avenue or taking the dreaded 6 train.) For those days, you’re probably still going to need a traditional MetroCard handy. Or you could try the Uber for hot-air balloons.