Uber Burned Cash to Support Pool

Uber Pool is a dismal failure documents obtained by BuzzFeed indicate. The service lost 63% of its riders despite massive spending by Uber Technologies.

Some details of the Uber Pool failure detailed by BuzzFeed include:

  • At one point Uber was spending $1 million a week to subsidize pool riders in San Francisco.


  • The vast majority of Uber Pool riders (63%) quit using the service the moment rates were raised.

  • By June 2016 Uber was spending $6 million a month to subsidize Uber Pool.


  • Uber lost an average of $4.93 per Pool trip before June 2016.


  • After June 2016 Uber started making a “profit” of 90¢ on a Pool trip.

  • A price hike caused a sharp decline in Pool ridership from 235,000 to 184,000 trips a day.


  • Uber lost 18% of its Pool ridership when it raised prices.


  • 12% of the most active Uber drivers left Pool in Fall 2015.


  • “We were bleeding cash subsidizing rides and we didn’t have a plan for tomorrow,” a former Uber employee told BuzzFeed News. “Everybody was just trying to put a Band-Aid on this problem.”

  • Around 26% of Pool users switched to Lyft Line after the price increased.



Uber Pool is a Failure

It looks as if Uber’s attempt to offer transit is a bust. Instead of being an engineering marvel Uber Pool is flop.

It looks as if ridesharing apps are not a viable alternative to mass transit like buses. Instead they are basically a niche product for affluent travelers. Politicians and other decision makers had better take note of that with an ever growing percentage of the population no longer driving.

Investors had better take note because it looks if Uber is will to waste vast amounts on questionable projects that do not work. After this “leak” one has to wonder how anybody can realistically believe the $70 billion valuation for Uber.


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