It's time to let out a collective howl, furry travelers. Uber, the world's largest rideshare company, has unleashed a new enhancement to its mobile app that makes hailing a pet-friendly ride easier than ever. As of Wednesday, October 16, lucky pups in Austin, Denver, Nashville, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Tampa Bay are now just a paw tap away from a pet-friendly pickup. Expect future cities to join the list as Uber expands this much-needed service across the country.
Securing a Pet-Friendly Uber
With the new feature, Uber customers are now able to select "Uber Pet" as an option when they request a ride, similar to choosing an UberX or Uber Pool. As with other modes, travelers will be able to review and confirm the fare estimate prior to booking. Uber Pet fares include a small surcharge (or shall we call it "furcharge"?) to encourage drivers to accept four-legged passengers. It's a small price to pay for users who can rest easy knowing that the driver will happily welcome their pet.
"We built this feature to give riders peace of mind so they know they'll be able to arrive at their destination with their pet, without any interruptions or surprises."
This is a marked improvement from the prior method of booking a pet-friendly Uber. Previously (and the current practice in markets still not served by Uber Pet), travelers with pets had to request a ride in the Uber app, wait for a driver to accept the request, and then call or message the driver to explain that they were traveling with an animal. If the Uber driver rejected Fido, the ride was cancelled, and the traveler had to start the ride request process all over again. With Uber Pet, the choice to accept pets still rests with each individual driver. However, that decision is now made in the app's "Driver Preferences" menu before a ride is ever requested. Thus, drivers who opt out of having animals in their cars won't be paired with a rider who selects an Uber Pet fare.
It should be noted that passengers with service animals will not be required or expected to use Uber Pet. Rather, the enhancement is designed for customers with household pets. "We built this feature to give riders peace of mind so they know they'll be able to arrive at their destination with their pet, without any interruptions or surprises," Uber informed BringFido. "From the time you select Uber Pet, to your trip's arrival, and ending with your dropoff--you and your animal companion(s) can take Uber, together, with ease."
While Uber expects dogs and cats to comprise the majority of its non-human passengers, all household pets will be accepted on rides. More than one pet can also be permitted at the driver's discretion.