Uber Now Allows Riders To Schedule Trips In Advance

Less than two weeks after Lyft rolled out a new service that allows riders to book trips in advance — despite the fact that that action essentially defeats the purpose of an on-demand ride-hailing app — the company’s biggest rival is joining club: Uber will now let users schedule trips between 30 minutes and 30 days in advance. 

Uber announced the new offering — dubbed Scheduled Rides — in a blog post on Thursday, noting that the feature, which is only available to UberX riders, will first launch in Seattle.

The company said the scheduled ride feature came about after hearing from riders who wanted to arrange their trips in advance “so they can rest assured that an Uber will be available when they need it.”

The feature works much like hailing a traditional Uber ride: select UberX, tap “Schedule a Ride,” set a date and time for pickup, and confirm details.

ScheduledRides-Flow-in-Phone

Uber will send riders two reminders of their upcoming trip 24 hours and 30 minutes prior to the pickup time and inform them if surge pricing applies.

That seems to mean that if your scheduled trip happens to coincide with a peak ridership time, you’ll be subject to the same surge pricing as if you hailed the ride on-demand.

Riders can cancel their scheduled trip anytime before the vehicle is dispatched, or up to five minutes after its been dispatched without a cancellation fee.

Because Uber says that scheduling a ride was the most requested feature from business travelers using the app, it has given priority access to users with Business Profiles or who has an account linked to their company’s Business Account.

The company plans to roll out Scheduled Rides in other major business cities in the coming months.