Compared to some options and depending on where you live, Uber is already pretty cheap. Certainly, it's lower in price in almost all situations compared to a traditional taxi cab. Still, it's far more expensive than your own car or riding a bus, which tends to result in some would-be users being priced out entirely. Things only get worse with surge pricing, which can raise the price of a ride significantly, in some cases even exponentially, depending on the current demand in the local area. While Uber ushering in self-driving cars may bring prices down soon, for now, things are a bit on the high side. Naturally, this is something that Uber wants to correct; while lower prices may result in less profit per ride, it will result in more rides, which could mean wider reach and a much larger customer base to balance things out. The latest in their efforts to get things to a more user-friendly price point comes in the form of a small testing rollout of flat fares for some users.
The flat fare structure and how it all works seems to vary by area. According to the details, the way it works is essentially, users pay up front based on the number of rides that they want a flat fare on. From there, users pay a predetermined fee based only on the type of ride, which is much, much lower than the average ride and especially surge pricing. If the user exceeds the number of rides allotted or exceeds a set upper limit on one ride, such as $20 normal fare, then they have to pay the difference out of pocket at the time of service.
The rollout will begin in September on a very limited, invite-only basis. Unlike the one-month-only Pool Pass that Uber previously tested, this test is set up in a variety of areas. So far, along with the San Francisco area, Miami, San Diego, Boston, Seattle, and Washington, DC have been confirmed to be part of the test rollout. At the moment, there is no given timeline for when the feature will begin to roll out more widely or if pricing will change in any way.