How can I make sure I'm the only passenger in my Uber or Lyft ride?
April 15, 2021 4:31 PM   Subscribe

I'm confused. I don't use ride sharing services often, but I'm vaccinated now and sometimes I have to take transportation to go to an appointment (like today).

I went to the Uber app and UberX had an icon of three people on it (maybe it was UberXL?) I got the idea that they were saying up to two other people (strangers) might get on and off the ride with me? I got scared (because of Covid) and wound up calling a car service (which had its own problems, like my having to tell the driver to put his mask on!).

I have another appointment tomorrow and I went back to the Uber and Lyft apps and now I'm getting the idea that the three little heads means that *I* can ride with two other people of my choice, and that this is different from strangers getting in and out of the car during my ride!?

Help! I googled but I'm still not sure how this works! I am a single person who wants to take a ride ALONE (with the driver) to a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning!

I'm in New York City if that makes any difference.
posted by DMelanogaster to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total)
Best answer: I don't think that's for multiple strangers sharing your car. That's just showing you how many people can fit in the car. The services where you share with strangers are called things like "Uber Pool," which is not available during COVID-19 (at least where I am).
posted by Mid at 4:35 PM on April 15 [8 favorites]

Best answer: Unless you use UberPool or Lyft Line, you'll be riding alone. UberX isn't a shared ride, but you can indeed bring along others if you like.
posted by wierdo at 4:36 PM on April 15 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Like, looking at the app right now - it says "UberX -- Affordable rides all to yourself." I have used Uber and UberX and other forms of Uber a zillion times and never shared with strangers. I think that's only the "Pool" mode.
posted by Mid at 4:37 PM on April 15

Response by poster: Thank you all so much. I am so nervous getting "out" after a year (I am 70) and maybe just not trusting myself/the world/etc. very much yet. Much appreciate your expertise on this!
posted by DMelanogaster at 4:40 PM on April 15 [46 favorites]

You're not alone, John Boehner got the different Uber modes confused and spent months carsharing by accident.
posted by BungaDunga at 5:13 PM on April 15 [19 favorites]

Hi - I don't think Uber or Lyft are even offering the option where you are sharing a ride with a stranger right now. Usually that was something you could do if you wanted a cheaper ride - but when the pandemic started, they stopped doing that (for obvious reasons).

The icon showing multiple people is just a way for you to know how many other people who know each other can travel together - like, if you had to take your two kids to the doctor or something, you'd make sure the car could fit at least 3 passengers.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:29 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]

I used shared carpool all the time and everyone is correct ... you couldn't share a ride with strangers right now even if you wanted to. Enjoy your ride!
posted by cyndigo at 7:49 PM on April 15

Response by poster: "I don't think Uber or Lyft are even offering the option where you are sharing a ride with a stranger right now." ---

EXACTLY -- this is why I was confused!!!! even that the option seemed to be offered seemed insane! and now I know why. I thought, well, they're opening up restaurants as the 4th surge is upon us, so here's just some other INSANE thing NY is doing!
posted by DMelanogaster at 7:58 PM on April 15 [2 favorites]

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