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Just yesterday, Singaporean Redditor VPee shared his/her UberPOOL not-so fantastic experience, and ventured a query – “is this normal?”.

First of all, here’s what VPee posted:

“She didn’t offer any apologies, not even a clenched teeth “sorry about this”.”

This immediately led to several Singaporeans also chirping in to contribute their personal anecdotes while taking UberPOOL, most of them being not very positive as well:

“No apologies no whatever”
“That woman was odious and the tension was unbearable.”
“I had to bear with 30mins of touchy-feely between them.”
“I should have probably done something more.”

But of course, for the benefit of a doubt, this thread might simply have attracted those with bad experiences, so I decided to check out others online.

On another Reddit thread titled “How has UberPool been treating you?” posted 2 months ago, and the experiences were slightly more balanced, save for this poor fella who was pulled a fast one by his driver:


“Sorry to tell you this, but your driver absolutely lied to you.”


Are Singaporeans Ready For Commercial Carpooling?

UberPOOL was introduced to us at the end of June, and promised to get “more butts into fewer cars”. What it also promised were cheaper rides, and less congestion over time, which is an attractive idea to those of us who experience hellish jams every morning.

From the experiences we’ve read online, the concept did deliver – in a way.

There are definitely more people in one car for a single ride as compared to the usual load, and discounting cheating UberPOOL drivers, the fares are lower, but a common rant heard is the time taken to get to a location.

In fact, some even advice to only use the POOL option if one’s not in a rush.

Advice on UberPOOL

However, more time taken to get to a location can’t be blamed on the driver due to the nature of roads which require long detours, and what’s actually more pressing is the bad behaviour from some riders.

In fact, a Redditor who claims to be an Uber driver also contributed his two-cents in terms of his experience:

“Majority of the others treat us quite well.”

The thing is, though – carpooling actually isn’t something completely new to us Singaporeans.

For example, RydeGrabHitch and Swiftback have been players in the carpool market longer than (relatively) newer entrant UberPOOL, but they work rather differently from UberPOOL’s model.

As Moneysmart summarises in its piece on Uber’s vs. Grab’s carpool options:

“uberPOOL cars are driven by commercial drivers no different from your regular uberX driver. The only difference is that when these drivers opt to accept uberPOOL bookings, they get to pick up multiple passengers on one trip. As a result, passengers pay less per trip (even if they’re the only one in the vehicle).

GrabHitch is different in that it’s presented as a car sharing app which is not meant to let drivers earn money, but rather simply defray the cost of petrol since they have to make a longer trip. The incentive is supposed to be the social interaction and getting to know people.”

So perhaps the problem is that due to the ‘commercial’ nature of POOL, some of these riders treat the drivers as merely service providers they can order around.

There’s no way to curb bad behaviour, but for those of us who do POOL and have witnessed bad behaviour, perhaps the least we could do is to diffuse the situation.

Service is a two-way street, and just like us, Uber drivers are just people wanting to make a salary like ourselves.

“Please remember uber drivers are normal people too.”

Featured Image Credits: Uber

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(UEN 201431998C.)

Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)