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Uber is experimenting with a new feature that aims to reduce cancellations as a result of customers bringing a pet along for the ride. Dubbed Uber Pet, the new feature will be available in select cities starting on October 16th.
It used to be that bringing a dog or cat in an Uber was unpredictable. Uber recommended customers contact their drivers before bringing pets in the car, but it’s likely that many people didn’t follow this advice. Surprise pets are among the many complaints that you’ll hear from Uber drivers.
Drivers have allergies or don’t want to deal with shedding or clean-up. As a result, oftentimes, the ride would be canceled. Uber wants to reduce that friction with this new feature.
Now, riders can select Uber Pet among the list of options before selecting a ride. A surcharge of $3 to $5 will be included in the upfront pricing when the option is selected in the app.
Meanwhile, drivers who don’t feel like shepherding creatures of the four-legged variety can opt out in the preferences section of the driver app. If, however, they choose to welcome those pets as passengers, they will be guaranteed to receive a “significant portion” of the surcharge on top of their standard trip earnings.
Service animals, however, are exempt. Uber’s policies — which is in accordance with state and federal law — are that service animals are allowed to ride at all times at no extra cost.
Uber Pet will be available to all customers starting on October 16th in the following cities: Austin, Denver, Nashville, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Tampa Bay.