The ridesharing giant said it is offering the service to help riders feel more safe and secure during these uncertain times. Uber Reserve will begin operating next week in more than 20 U.S. cities.
Through the Uber app, riders will be able to book a future trip at the rate presented at the time of booking. Trips can be booked for as soon as two hours up to a month away. Riders will know the identity of their driver in advance and be able to request a favorite driver.
Uber Reserve also gives riders extra flexibility in planning their trips by giving them an extra 15 minutes of wait time. On-time pickup is guaranteed, with a $50 Uber Cash credit awarded for rides that arrive late.
The service also gives drivers added flexibility by allowing them to select trips that best fit their schedules. Drivers can choose to not participate in the service.
Uber Reserve will initially be offered to Uber Black and Black SUV riders. The company plans to expand the service to UberX, Comfort and XL riders by the end of the year.
In late September, Uber unveiled a service to help coworkers rideshare during the pandemic. The offering is part of its Uber for Business initiative, which targets companies reopening offices.
“People naturally feel more comfortable commuting with co-workers, as opposed to strangers. Taking this into consideration, new Employee Group Rides will leverage Uber’s existing rideshare technology to match employees from the same company when they request a ride to work,” Uber stated in a post on Sept. 22. “Individual employees will have the ability to request, manage and pay for their own portion of their trip and will ride exclusively with colleagues during days and times specified by their employers. Employers can also opt to subsidize or fully cover the cost of rides for employees.”
Meanwhile, Uber has been grappling with California legislation that would have its drivers classified as employees rather than contractors. Last week, California voters passed a measure that exempted gig workers from the law, thereby allowing Uber drivers to continue working as contractors.