While Uber works well for most riders most of the time, there are occasions where you’re left hanging about, waiting for an available car to show up. That’s fine if you’re not in a rush, but if you need to get to an important meeting or medical appointment, or perhaps to the airport for a flight, then you may end up with a bead of sweat forming on your brow.
Aware of the issue, Uber launched Scheduled Rides back in June, allowing riders to book a car ahead of time. Following a successful trial run in Seattle, the company started rolling the service out to other cities across the U.S. and beyond. And now it’s finally landed in New York City.
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Scheduled Rides lets you book a journey between 15 minutes and 30 days ahead of the pick-up time, with pricing the same as a regular ride. However, should surge pricing kick in shortly before your ride is due to begin, you’ll be notified, at which point you can decide if you want to cancel. In addition, you can cancel any scheduled ride at any time before your car is dispatched to collect you. In fact, even after it’s dispatched, you have a five-minute window to call off the booking if you decide at the last moment that you don’t need the ride.
To ensure everything’s in order, Uber will confirm your booking the day before and also send an additional notification when the driver begins their journey to come and pick you up. That final reminder will essentially be your last chance to cancel the ride.
Uber’s Scheduled Rides service is already in operation in more than 30 locations across the U.S., as well as in eight cities around the world.
With many taxi drivers still unhappy with the threat posed by Uber’s business, Scheduled Rides widens the net further to challenge appointment-based car and limo services, a matter that surely won’t have escaped the attention of those running between New York City and its nearby international airports.