Bridging the Last Mile with UberPOOL

uberpool_miamiThis month I had the experience of trying UberPOOL — the shared rides service offered by Uber — for the first time.

How does it work?

With UberPOOL, you share a ride, and split the cost, with another person who happens to be requesting a ride along a similar route. Instead of two or more cars traveling the same route at the same time, only a single car is. And as more people share their rides, cars come off the road, reducing congestion and eventually transforming the way people get around Miami-Dade.

But there are other impacts of ridesharing. Because it’s so affordable, Uber also creates an economical way for people to more easily access transit stops — the “last mile” trip — without having to worry about finding (or paying for) parking.

For example, take the general manager of Uber in South Florida, Kasra Moshkani, whom I met during my UberPOOL ridealong. A South Florida native (and graduate of Palmetto High School!) he moved back to Miami to take the job with Uber, after living in New York, Boston and Chicago — all cities where he used public transportation to commute. Now, he takes Uber from his home to the Dadeland South station (the last mile trip), hops on Metrorail, gets off at the Brickell stop and walks to the Uber office. Rather than wrestling with traffic for over an hour both ways every day, his trip each way on the train is only about 17 minutes (and he can use the time to catch up on emails).

How was my UberPOOL experience? I grabbed the Metrorail at University station and rode to Dadeland South. There, I requested an UberPOOL, and it only took three minutes before an extremely pleasant driver named Adriane arrived to pick me up. The best part: an UberPOOL ride from Dadeland South to the Pinecrest Village Hall averages only $4.88.

It takes a full array of transportation options — like public transit, ridesharing platforms, and bikeable and walkable streets — for residents to consider leaving their car at home in the morning, or even downsizing from a two- to one-car household. And as our community tackles huge challenges like congestion, it takes a commitment not only by the public but by the businesses that call Miami-Dade home to use alternative transportation.

So next time you need to go north on U.S. 1, consider leaving your keys at home, and Ubering it to the Metrorail. You might be glad you did!

Learn more about UberPOOL (and watch the video of me trying it for the first time!) here:

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