Uber will be hoping to ramp up ride numbers as countries across the world emerge from self-isolation and lockdown, and has been putting new safety measures in place to protect drivers and passengers.
"While we're encouraging riders to continue following local health guidelines and travel only as necessary, we've also been listening to their feedback about ways our platform can facilitate opportunities they're looking for", Uber Director of Rider Operations Niraj Patel said in a statement.
In fact, users can book up to seven hours, but the price does not change: each booked hour costs US$50.
Uber announced on Friday that from next week users in some USA cities will be able to book rides by the hour. The new "Hourly" option lets riders set the amount of time they think the trip should take and thus lock in a flat hourly rate for the whole duration. The rider will have to pay for the time they have selected even if the trip takes lesser time than they thought.
However, there are a few restrictions.
New search for student wanted in killings comes up empty
A man matching Manfredonia's description was picked up by a surveillance image at the cash register of a gas station there. The girlfriend was found unharmed with her auto at a rest stop on Interstate 80 in Columbia, New Jersey, police said.
The flat rate, initially tested in places like Australia, Africa and Europe, will become available in 12 USA cities: Atlanta; Chicago; Washington, DC; Dallas; Houston; Miami; Orlando; Tampa Bay; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Tacoma, Washington; and Seattle, with more in the weeks ahead. Riders will be charged at a per-minute rate for trips that go on longer than the time limit set or if the per-mile rate for trips go over the mileage limit of the city.
The ride-hailing company expects to introduce the option Tuesday in 12 cities - Atlanta; Chicago; Dallas; Houston; Miami; Orlando, Fla.; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Seattle; Tacoma, Wash.; Tampa Bay, Fla.; and Washington, D.C.
Uber Hourly is the latest service launched by Uber as it attempts to respond to the pandemic. Also, each vehicle has a limit on passengers.
If you have access to this hourly function, try it out and see if it's better than the regular payment method.