Uber will first introduce ride-sharing services in cities where its losing customers due to too-high fares or regulations. Its further expansion will likely depend on how consumer pickup in the early markets.
Uber is launching its very first ride-sharing service in Paris this week in what poses a potential threat to similar services in the U.S.
Uber’s current uberX services are provided by professional drivers with a specific license.
For now, the new service appears to be Uber’s way to cut rates and get around regulations that restrict black car drivers from using smaller cars. But Uber’s first experiment with a ride-sharing service could also be a launching point for the service’s expansion into other European cities and eventually the U.S.
The minimum ride fare for uberPOP is half the minimum fare for UberX. The ride-sharing service is about 30 percent cheaper on a proposed route from Opéra to Hôtel de Ville.
Uber services are currently available in Paris and Lyon, but UberPOP is only being introduced in Paris for now. The service is available directly on the Uber app that many Parisians have already downloaded.
Uber launched services in Paris two years ago in December 2011.
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Photo credit: A red Volkswagen Polo is one of the cars that drivers will use for UberPop. Christian Prade / Flickr