One of the downsides of being a pet owner without a vehicle at your disposal is that getting around in a pinch typically means you're at the mercy of someone willing to transport the two of you in good faith. Uber knows this can be tricky, and it's launching a new pilot, Uber Pet, to help ease this process for all involved parties—assuming everyone's on their best behavior.
According to Uber, the latest offering will allow riders to "communicate to a driver that you'll be bringing a furry friend onboard your Uber trip."
Pet owners traveling with their animals just have to select the Uber Pet option when booking their ride, and pay a small surcharge — which will be included in the upfront price and varies from $3-$5 — for the service.
How it works?
1. Open the Uber app
2. Select uberPET and request
3. Buckle up and enjoy the ride with your pal
The new pilot ride option will be available through the app to riders in Austin, Denver, Nashville, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Tampa Bay starting Oct. 16.
To ensure both riders and drivers stay happy, drivers are allowed to opt out of Uber Pet. Drivers who do decide to participate, will receive "a significant portion of that surcharge, on top of their standard trip earnings," according to Uber.
All household pets are accepted on rides, including turtles and hamsters, as well as caged birds and fish in bowls or bags.
Uber Pet riders can can bring more than one animal at the driver's discretion.
With the introduction of its new feature, the company is not replacing its service animal policy that requires drivers to accept all rides with service animals. Instead, Uber Pet is a separate, independent feature — riders with service animals are not subject to any fee and do not have to select the Uber Pet option when scheduling a ride.
Although Uber Pet 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.