As dog people, it’s impossible to imagine a situation where seeing a dog doesn’t thrill us. However, many ride share drivers beg to differ. Allowing passengers’ dogs into their cars can upset other riders or irritate anyone who’s allergic. Not to mention, as we all know, dogs can be pretty messy. That’s not preferable when your car is your business.
Finding a ride for ourselves and our pups isn’t always easy. Often drivers will cancel rides as soon as they see one of their passengers is a dog.
In particular, ride share company Uber’s existing pet policy requires drivers to only accept service dogs as passengers. Still, some individual drivers will accept canine passengers. Many more will not. That’s why Uber recommends riders contact their driver in advance to let them know they’d like to bring an animal with them.
Soon, however, that’s all going to change when Uber launches a new in-app service in the U.S. called “Uber Pet.”
Yep, it is what it sounds like. By selecting this option, riders will be guaranteed a match with a driver who’s totally on board with dog passengers.
Technically Uber Pet will only be new to the U.S. The service is already available in several Latin American countries, including Brazil and Mexico, in addition to a few Asian markets.
Starting October 16, people riding with Uber in Austin, Denver, Nashville, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Tampa Bay will have access to the new “Uber Pet” option in the app. When selecting this option, riders agree to pay a surcharge ranging from $3 to $5, depending on the city.
Uber says most of this surcharge will go directly to the driver. Because of this, the company expects more drivers will want to accept rides that include animals.
In the app, all drivers are opted into accepting Uber Pet rides by default, but they are allowed to opt out of them in their app preferences.
Starting next week, Uber Pet will be a thing in Denver. For an extra $3-$5, you can book a ride with your dog, cat, hamster, rabbit… you get it.
Will you use this service? If you drive for Uber, do you want animals in your car? pic.twitter.com/4KNo494xpV
— 9NEWS Denver (@9NEWS) October 11, 2019
Ideally, Uber Pet is meant to improve communication between drivers and riders so people expecting rides with their pups aren’t rejected and drivers aren’t suddenly surprised with a canine passenger. Uber hopes this will reduce the number of cancelled rides and disappointed passengers.
If Uber Pet isn’t in your city yet, don’t worry: drivers are still required to take service dogs and some will even take non-service dogs if asked in advance.
With the high demand for pet-friendly rides though, I’m betting it won’t be long before the service makes its way across the whole country.
H/T: Venture Beat
Do you want a healthier & happier dog? Join our email list & we'll donate 1 meal to a shelter dog in need!