Uber Plus / Uber Ride Pass 2016/2017

Related: 2018 Uber Route Pass

Uber Ride Pass (formerly known as Uber Plus) for Boston started in 2016 and in 2017 offered invitation-only to select customers by email. Uber Ride Pass has been replaced in 2018 by Uber Route Pass.

Let’s calculate if Uber Ride Pass will save you money.

  1. You must have the Uber Ride Pass invitation in the app or via email, as it’s invite-only.
  2. You must make at least 20 rides/month within the Uber Ride Pass coverage area
  3. Uber Ride Pass effectively costs about $4.35 a ride using Uber Pool, if your non-pass Pool ride would have cost less than $25. UberX is available through Uber Ride Pass at double the per-ride cost.
  • Uber Pool / UberX (without Ride Pass) is affected by Surge Pricing.
  • Uber Ride Pass can help insulate you from UberPool surge pricing.
  • Even UberX Ride Pass can be comparable to downtown parking/auto maintenance/annoyance.

Boston coverage map

Uber Ride Pass expanded north of Boston in 2017, but removed West Roxbury that was available in 2016.

map of greater Boston area: Summer/Fall 2017 Uber Ride Pass overlay

Uber Ride Pass flat rate Boston area map: Summer/Fall 2017.

Cost Analysis

Here is a simple cost analysis for Boston Uber Ride Pass:

monthmonthly rate: $/ridesper ride ratecovers up to ride costtotal Pool cost $/rides
Sept ‘17$520, $15/unlim.$3.99 Pool, $7.99 X$25$8520, $17540 (Pool) $16520, $33540 (X)

We’ll use as a canonical trip a 3 mile trip, say Northeastern University to South Station. In 2016 I was charged $2.46-$2.75 for a standard Uber Pool trip of this length, non-surge. The variable price is due to pairing likelihood.

If your ride costs less than the “per ride rate”, you’ll be billed for that lower amount. That is, the per-ride rate is the maximum price assuming you’re under the maximum trip cost limit of $25 for Uber Ride Pass.

Uber vs. MBTA monthly pass

Uber Ride Pass has maintained approximately the same pricing as early Fall 2016, just a bit higher. For Winter 2016 Uber Ride Pass was not a good deal for a lot of people, and people I know dropped out of it.

MBTA monthly pass is $84.50 for unlimited rides subway & Local (not express) bus. So when you see people saying “Uber Pool Pass is cheaper than the MBTA monthly pass”, that was only true for May-Aug 2016. In 2017, Uber Ride Pass costs double the MBTA monthly pass.

Historical data

These FORMER cost tables are retained to show that whether Uber Ride Pass is a good deal for a particular rider changes over time.

  • May-Aug 2016: Uber Pool Pass was a deal certainly worth having for most people in the Boston area at $2 total per ride
  • Sept-Oct 2016: Uber Plus at $4/ride could cost more than standard Uber Pool for close-in trips like Kendall Square to Back Bay or MGH to Longwood.
  • Nov 2016-Jan 2017: Uber Plus adds $1 to the cost of UberPool rides that would otherwise be $4.99 or less. Once you reach $5.99 UberPool, you start saving money. For many types of Boston trips, you are still paying more with Uber Plus. Better to NOT get Uber Plus in Boston unless your typical Boston UberPool trips are substantially more than $6.
monthmonthly rate: $/ridesper ride ratecovers up to ride costtotal cost $/rides
May-Aug ‘16$4020, $7540$0$15$4020, $7540
Sept ‘16$4020, $7540$2$20$8020, $15540
Oct ‘16$1010, $2020, $4040$2.99$20$8020, $16040
Nov ‘16 - Jan ‘17$1010, $2020, $4040$4.99$20$12020, $24040

Uber Ride Pass: invite-only

Since February 2017, Uber Ride Pass is invite-only.

Uber Pool Pass cancellation message

Uber Pool Pass cancellation message February/March 2017.

For Winter 2016, Uber Pool Pass cost two-three times the MBTA monthly pass. However, you are also probably getting to your destination two-three times faster.

Uber Pool Boston $2 Campus flat rate is no longer available, and didn’t require any special plan.

Historical coverage maps

These maps are retained to show the evolution of Uber Ride Pass in the Boston area over time.

Uber Plus FORMERLY expanded its coverage area to West Roxbury in December 2016.

map of greater Boston area with Dec 2016-Jan 2017 Uber Plus overlay

OBSOLETE: Uber Plus flat rate Boston area map: Dec. 2016 - Spring 2017.

map of greater Boston area with Oct-Nov 2016 Uber plus overlay

OBSOLETE: Uber Plus Boston area map: Oct.-Nov. 2016.