Uber Re-Imagined | Teen Ink

Uber Re-Imagined MAG

March 31, 2019
By Shelleychen BRONZE, Vaughan, Ontario
Shelleychen BRONZE, Vaughan, Ontario
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Uber Re-Imagined


Transportation Network Company Uber has revolutionized the world and taken the transportation industry by storm. The company not only set the precedent for future innovation but also sparked massive changes in industries, a phenomenon referred to as Uberisation. Since it’s conception, the company has expanded beyond UberX standard car trips to a variety of rider service levels such as UberWav (provides wheelchair accessible vehicles) and UberHealth (allows health workers to arrange rides for their patients to and from appointments). They’ve basically got a solution for every problem, except one. In light of recent urbanization, sprawl has become a dire issue especially when it comes to traffic congestion. If I could be the CEO of Uber Technologies, I would implement a new service level, UberSHARE, which allows for people working in the same building/ area to join a group page in the app where they can commute together in order to combat traffic congestion.

In Canada and the US, the average commute time is around 26.2 minutes and 25.4 minutes respectively. In Canada’s most urbanized area, Toronto, the average commute time is a staggering 34 minutes. As a Greater Toronto Area (GTA) resident myself, my commute to school as well as my parents commute to their downtown jobs are above this average. This is largely due to traffic congestion brought on by a number of factors such as unreliable public transportation, rising housing prices, and uncontrollable urban sprawl. This is clearly a dire issue yet unfortunately, no current policies have resulted in any substantial change. However, what better way to disrupt the status quo than an Uberisation.

Uber already has a large user base in mostly due to the simplicity and convenience of its app. Likely many users will already have similar commutes. What UberShare would do is that when it detects that your commute overlaps with others, they will suggest for you to join a group page with others working in the same area. Employers or co-workers could also share the group page via group code or invitation. Existing trips passing through your area going to the same place will be suggested to you which you can choose to accept. Then you will be picked up and be able to ride with others at a significantly reduced fee. When returning home from work, the page can help you coordinate with others who are along the way and about to leave. This would be feasible as co-workers likely have the same schedules. UberPOOL, which offers rides with strangers going in the same direction, is similar and is very successful despite its circumstances being less prevalent than UberSHARE. This shows it will be more readily used as most people commute twice a day 5 times a week, making the service extremely useful on a day to day basis.

UberShare will help in easing traffic congestion and reducing peoples commute times. This service will be successful due to its simplicity and convenience, Uber’s large existing platform and the incentive of a significantly reduced rate. I believe that this innovation will not only solve the major problems of suburban sprawl but also set the precedent for future Uberisations.

The author's comments:

I have already applied for the 2019 GATSVI Entrepreneurship Summer Program and, upon request from one of the coordinators, have entered in this contest in order to share my ideas and hopefully obtain a scholarship. Hope you enjoy my essay!

- Shelley Chen

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on Sep. 4 2019 at 1:10 pm
notowenbergeron, Swampscott, Massachusetts
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