Transport Cars

Uber Rolls Out Another Brand Variant in San Francisco, UberXL

May 13, 2014 5:00 am

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We’re waiting for UberInsured, the variant where drivers are totally legit and backed by the company we book them through, as opposed to freelancers who may or may not be covered for the service they’re providing.

— Jason Clampet

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For those times when the party is not just breaking up, but moving to a whole new location, the typical Uber car might feel a little cramped.

So it’s probably not coincidence that Uber decided to launch its low-cost SUV car service in San Francisco just in time for Bay to Breakers, which is ostensibly a foot race but is in reality all about partying from location to location.

The new service lets Uber customers hail an SUV instead of a regular car (which the company’s UberX service already offers) or a luxury sedan (UberBlack). The SUVs will seat up to six passengers, and you can use the company’s fare-split feature to divvy up the fees between the riders.

The rates are a bit higher than the UberX service, with an extra $2 charged for the base fare ($6 versus the usual $4 for UberX), a higher per-minute fee, and a per-mile fee of $2.15 instead of $1.50.

But UberXL is cheaper than the usual UberSUV service, which has a base far of $15 and a $3.75 per minute mileage fee.

That, of course, raises the question: If you can get an SUV ride so much cheaper with UberXL, why would anyone choose the pricier UberSUV?

And why does Uber have so many confusingly-named fare options, all of which have different prices and yet offer no particularly different features other than the appearance of the car’s exterior?

The company estimates a cross-town ride from the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park to the Mission district with UberXL will cost about $17.

UberXL is already available in Sydney, Singapore, and Boston.

This article originally appeared on VentureBeat

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