What To Know Before Booking An UberX Share Ride

The yellow cabs in New York and the black Hackney cabs in London may be iconic, but in many tourist destinations, traditional taxis must compete with ride-share services like Uber. And that's a good thing for travelers — according to Lifewire, Uber tends to be cheaper for longer trips (such as a ride from the airport to the city center) compared to taxis.

The savings are amplified even more when taking an UberX Share ride. According to Uber's official website, UberX Share is a service that allows passengers to split the bill with other riders traveling in the same direction. Just like with other Uber trips, you enter your location and destination in the app and select the "Share" option to be matched with one additional passenger. If you're matched on your route, you can save up to 20% compared to standard UberX rides.

The option to share existed before the COVID-19 pandemic but was paused in 2020, per an Uber press release. In 2022, the company launched UberX Share, bringing back the co-riding experience and its wallet-friendly discounts. However, even if the service can save you money, there are a few things to know before booking your UberX Share ride.

The benefits of UberX Share

If you're traveling on a budget, opting for UberX Share rides could cut costs, though you shouldn't expect to always receive a 20% discount. According to the company, choosing UberX Share when booking your trip will result in a minimum discount (the amount is unclear, though it likely varies based on your location and other factors). If you aren't matched with a co-passenger, you'll only receive this initial discount, but if another rider joins along your route, you're eligible to receive an additional discount of up to 20%, depending on how long and far you travel together.

Another benefit of UberX Share is that you might secure a ride more quickly and still get to your destination in a reasonable amount of time. For instance, if you book a private car to take you across town at rush hour, you may have to wait to find an available ride. However, if you opt for a shared ride, you expand your options to additional drivers as long as you're willing to sacrifice a little seat space. And though you may have to wait for your driver to pick up and drop off your fellow passenger, Uber states that shared journeys should require no more than eight additional minutes compared to a solo ride.

Finally, UberX Share might be a smart choice if you're concerned about greenhouse gas emissions. In theory, passengers can use fewer vehicles when they carpool, which could result in less pollution.

When not to book an UberX Share ride

UberX Share has its perks, but it's not ideal for every passenger or trip. First, you might not have the option to share your journey, depending on where you're located. As of 2023, the service is only available in 27 U.S. cities and 53 cities outside the U.S. Even if you use UberX Share in your home city, you might not find it in the app when on vacation in a different area.

Uber's shared rides also aren't intended for groups of passengers. You can only book the service as a solo traveler, requesting no more than one seat. Moreover, Uber doesn't recommend booking UberX Share if you have bulky luggage. A standard UberX ride is generally a safer bet to ensure there's enough space for your bags.

Also, note that your UberX Share trip likely won't feel as private as a regular trip, though the good news is that your vehicle should never be packed full. Expect only one additional passenger (plus the driver, of course) at any given point during your journey.