Technology

Uber tries offering rides by the hour in some markets

The option is already available in a handful of cities in Australia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East and will cost $50 per hour in 12 US cities

Uber announced it is going to start offering rides by the hour in some U.S. cities, a feature aimed at helping riders with essential trips during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Canaltech.

The option, which is already available in a handful of cities in Australia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, will cost $50 per hour. Fares for regular Uber rides are generally based on the level of demand and the trip distance.

The company said it expected the option to be used for trips to grocery stores, pharmacies and doctors appointments, but would monitor use going forward.

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Hourly bookings will be available in Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Orlando, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Tacoma and Seattle beginning June 2, with expansions planned in the following weeks.

Ride-hailing trips, which generate the bulk of Uber’s revenue, dropped 80% globally in April, but the company earlier this month said demand was slowly recovering