Uber Pool / UberX Pass flat rates in Boston

Uber Pool Pass for Boston is being offered to selected customers by email for June 2017. You must have the link from your email invitation, to my knowledge it’s not open to the general public.

UberPool Pass / Uber Plus was last generally available to all without invite for January 2017.

Uber Pool Pass cancellation message
Uber Pool Pass cancellation message February/March 2017.

Related: Watch out for “fixed price” overcharging on Uber

Note: “Uber Plus” is another name for Uber’s flat fares pass program.

If you’re usually spending less than $6/ride on Uber Pool, Uber Plus might cost you over 25% more than Uber Pool for short trips e.g. less than 3 miles / 15 minutes roughly. Uber Pool is affected by Surge Pricing, so Uber Plus can help insulate you from UberPool surge pricing–but be aware overall Uber Plus might cost you more for the month that just using plain UberPool.

Uber Pool Boston $2 Campus flat rate doesn’t require any special plan.

Analysis of Boston Uber Plus / Uber Pool Pass rates

Uber Plus in Boston for Nov 2016-Jan 2017 became a less-bad deal than in Sept-Oct 2016 due to $5.99 being the maximum charge, but unless you take long UberPool rides regularly with costs substantially over $6, Uber Plus will cost you $1 each trip more than plain UberPool. This could be over 25% higher cost for Uber Plus.

We’ll use as a canonical trip a 2.5 mile trip, say Northeastern University to South Station. I have been charged $2.46-$2.75 for a standard Uber Pool trip of this length, depending on time of day (non-surge). The variable price is due to pairing likelihood.

  • 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.

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 $20 for UberPool.

Boston UberPool Plus rate table vs. MBTA monthly pass

month monthly rate: $/rides per ride rate covers up to ride cost total 40-ride cost
May-Aug 2016 $40/20, $75/40 $0 $15 $75
Sept 2016 $40/20, $75/40 $2 $20 $155
Oct 2016 $10/10, $20/20, $40/40 $2.99 $20 $150 - $160
Nov 2016 - Jan 2017 $10/10, $20/20, $40/40 $4.99 $20 $150 - $240

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. During Sept-Oct 2016, Uber Pool Pass costs nearly double the MBTA monthly pass.

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

Boston Uber Plus map coverage area

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

map of greater Boston area with Dec 2016-Jan 2017 Uber Plus overlay
Uber Plus flat rate Boston area map: Dec. 2016 - Jan. 2017.
map of greater Boston area with Oct-Nov 2016 Uber plus overlay
OBSOLETE: Uber Plus Boston area map: Oct.-Nov. 2016.

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