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The latest offering from Uber aims to make life a little less “ruff” for animal lovers.
With uberPET, riders can now give a heads-up to their drivers if they’ll be bringing a pet along on their trip.
The new feature allows both rider and driver to agree beforehand that a pet will be coming along — before its introduction, riders were encouraged to text or call a driver if they had an animal with them, and often struggled with ride cancellations from drivers unwilling to take pets in their car.
Starting Oct. 16, select cities will offer the feature through the Uber app. Austin, Denver, Nashville, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Tampa Bay all will try out the program, which applies a $2 charge for uberPET trips. Drivers are automatically set up to accept uberPET rides, but they have the option to opt out if they wish.
“We understand it can be tricky when riders come on-board with their pets, so we are working towards creating a better driving experience for you,” the company stated on its website.
All household pets are accepted on rides, including turtles and hamsters, as well as caged birds and fish in bowls or bags. But, uberPET only guarantees space for one animal per ride.
With the introduction of its new feature, the company is not replacing its service animal policy that requires drivers to accept rides with service animals. Instead, uberPET is a separate, independent feature — riders with service animals are not subject to any fee and do not have to select the uberPET option when scheduling a ride.
Although uberPET is new to the U.S., international riders have been using the feature for a couple of years now. It first launched in Singapore in 2017, and is available in Mexico and Brazil.
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