In June I reported that Uber had launched scheduled rides but at the time it was only available in Seattle.
As a regular user of Uber, one of the biggest downsides I’ve found is that you need to request a driver at the time you wish to travel. While it gives you the flexibility to change your schedule, sometimes when plans are set (eg: on those trips to and from the airport) it’d be nice to have to flexibility to know that a car will be waiting for you when you need it.
Users in the following locations in Australia can now request an UberX between 15 minutes and 30 days in advance of travel:
- Brisbane – Merthyr, New Farm, Newstead, and Teneriffe.
- Melbourne – CBD and inner suburbs.
- Perth – CBD, inner suburbs, and Fremantle.
- Sydney – Eastern Suburbs and Inner West.
How to use it
As I have an upcoming business trip on Monday, I decided to see just how easy it was to schedule a ride.
In the Uber app you’ll see Schedule a Ride as an option on the menu screen
You’ll then be presented with a screen where you select the time, pickup address, destination, and payment method (if you’re using Uber for Business like we are, you’ll be able to select your business too).
Enter the details, and click schedule. That’s it, you’ll be presented with a list of your upcoming bookings where you can easily edit or cancel the scheduled ride at no cost (anywhere up to 5 minutes after the car is dispatched).
I’m pleased to see this finally rolling out in Australia although I’d like to see it available on the premium Uber Black service too.
I can’t help but feel that the service will simply submit a booking on your behalf at the pickup time as an automated process, rather than the rider having to request a car.
It’s important to note that this doesn’t protect against surge pricing, so don’t go pre-booking your New Years Eve trips in the hope of avoiding the surge.
If you don’t already have an Uber account, you can sign up using promo code uberswewing. You’ll get $10 towards your first ride (and I’ll get $10 too).