When outages along the L train went into effect earlier in April, promotions for Uber's new rideshare service Uber Pool went into effect as well, providing some L commuters with five dollar flat rate rides to some of the areas surrounding the non-functioning train route. This isn't the first time that Uber offered synergetic assistance to straphangers in need, either: past G train shutdowns have also been followed by Uber promotions.
Writing on The Awl, Matt Buchannan noted that the car service hasn't swooped in to rescue potential customers in less affluent areas:
"Previously, Uber offered 'free transfers' when the G train, which connects Williamsburg, Greenpoint (“north Williamsburg”), and Long Island City (“Condo City”) was out of service. Strangely, Uber has never offered reduced or free rides during service disruptions in Far Rockaway or the Bronx, hmm."
Indeed, Uber Pool’s recent L-train promotion did not extend to the end of the line in Canarsie. Uber spokesman Matthew Wing tells DNAinfo that the L was selected for UberPool promotion because it's a "very fundamental line," noting that the L is currently one of the most "overpopulated" train lines in the city. That's true: In 2014, ridership increased along every stop on the L line, according to data DNAinfo received from the MTA:
Buchanan’s piece dives into Uber’s reported wider goals, including replacing car ownership and mass transit. Wing told DNAinfo that Uber users can use UberPool as a "surrogate subway." Uber plans to run additional Uber Pool promotions to supplement other service changes around the city. How about starting with the 7 train, friend?
Do you think an UberPool promotion will come to your neighborhood? Tell us in the comments.