Uber is making it easy to get your pet along for a ride. The company has launched its pilot project, Uber Pet, to make it easy to transport pets from one point to another.
For a company like Uber, it is especially tricky to execute such a service, since it is dependent on independent contractors, who may all not agree with the pet policy.
The feature, Uber has stated, has been tested in Latin America and Asia and is now being rolled out to the US market. Rather than trying to find a driver who is comfortable with transporting a pet, all users will need to do is look for such drivers in the app. The Uber app will give riders an option to choose a pet-friendly driver while booking their trip. Drivers will be able to opt-in whether or not to transport pets.
"We understand it can be tricky when riders come on-board with their pets, so we are working towards creating a better driving experience for you. Let us know if you would be comfortable having riders with their household pets (dogs, cats, etc) in your car. The trip fare will be the same as uberX and we will add $2 to the trip fare for every trip you complete on UberPET," the company has stated on its website.
Basically, riders may have to pay $3 to $5 extra on the top of their regular fare, if they want to take a pet along for the journey. The fee will be shown before you start the ride.
Initially, the program will have a limited rollout in the following cities and states:
- Minneapolis- St. Paul
- Phoenix, and
- Tampa Bay
Uber drivers will easily be able to opt-out if they don't want to transport pets at all. But, those who agree to do so, will receive a significant part of the increased fee.
But what if the pets cause any damage to the vehicle? According to the company's community guidelines, the driver will have the recourse of charging riders for such damages.
Uber has also stated that it will waive off the regular cancellation charges for the driver in case he/she reports that the pet is unfit for his/her vehicle.
Ultimately, the company has put the onus on the pet-owner for ensuring a smooth ride. But Uber Pet does ensure that you have an option to call an Uber cab, the next time you have to take your dog to the vet.
The program will start rolling out on Wednesday, October 16.