I’ve written about the differences between UberX, XL, Select, and Black, but there are many other uber services that I you may not have heard of. The more obscure Uber services are typically only available in a few cities, and to complicate things, Uber gives different names in different cities to essentially the same services. I looked at Uber cities all over the US and found a pretty large list of uncommon Uber services, and documented them in this post.
Want to see which Uber services are in your area? Download the Uber app (you’ll get a free ride credit with that link) and see what’s available in your city by opening up the app and looking at the options available on the slider at the bottom of the main screen.
The lesser-known Uber services
- Pool: Share your Uber ride with another rider. Uber’s version of carpooling. Same cars as UberX, but cheaper
- Español: UberX with a Spanish-speaking driver
- For Hire, Taxi, T, Cab: Use the Uber app to hail a traditional yellow cab. Available in big cities like Seattle, NYC, Chicago, and Portland
- WAV, Access, Assist: Wheelchair-accessible vehicles and drivers who can assist special needs passengers. More and more cities are requiring Uber to provide this service
- Pedal, Bike: An UberX or XL vehicle with a bike rack. $5 fee on top of your fare.
- Rush: An on-demand delivery service for outgoing deliveries
- HOP: Shuttle service that drives between predetermined routes for a flat-rate fare
- LUX: High-end luxury car like a Mercedes S Class, Tesla Model S, BMW 7-Series, etc.
Uber service availability varies wildly city-to-city
Uber service availability varies so much city-to-city that you might not even recognize the bottom area of the app if you open it up in a city you’re visiting. Some cities have tons of services available, and others only have a few.
Check out this side by side comparison of Seattle and Omaha. Seattle has lots, Omaha has almost none
More about UberPOOL
With UberPOOL, Uber tries to pair you with other riders who are heading in the same direction as you. When you request Pool, you have to enter your destination and your number of passengers (2 maximum). The Uber app tells the driver who to pick up first and who to drop off first, so expect to make a stop to pick up or drop off your riding companion. Many Pool riders report taking the ride alone and paying a lower Pool rate, which is great for customers but not great for drivers.
Uber is rolling out Pool in more cities and spending a lot of marketing effort spreading the word. It’s clear that Uber thinks that carpooling is cheaper for passengers and possibly more efficient for drivers. For now, drivers don’t like that Pool rides require twice the amount of work — two pickups and two drop-offs — for each ride for the same pay.
How to drive for UberPOOL: If UberPOOL is in your market and you’re an UberX or XL driver, by default you’ll be opted into the Pool service. You’ll receive Pool requests along with X requests.
More about UberEspañol
Passengers can request a Spanish-speaking UberX driver with the Español service, and it costs the same as UberX.
Español is confirmed to be available in most California cities and Chicago.
How to drive for Español: In Español markets, Uber will ask you if you speak Spanish during the application process, and occasionally send X drivers promotional emails asking if you’d like to be an Español driver. If you’d like to drive for this service but Uber hasn’t asked you, email Uber support and ask to join.
More about For Hire, Taxi, T, Cab
With this service, Uber has partnered with local cab and livery companies to allow riders to hail a licensed taxi cab. You’ll pay an up-front fee and posted cab rates, but you’ll get the benefit of cashless payment via the Uber app. Uber can’t decide what it wants to call its taxi hailing service, so when you go to a new city you might find that this service has a different name than you’re used to.
Confirmed to be available in NYC, Chicago, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, and Toronto.
More about WAV, Access, and Assist
The WAV, Access, and Assist services are for passengers with disabilities or special needs. WAV stands for wheelchair-accessible vehicle, so drivers in that service will be able to take wheelchair-bound passengers. In Los Angeles, the “Access” tab has two options: WAV or Assist. WAV is for wheelchair-accessible vehicles, and Assist is for passengers who need extra help getting in and out of the car. It’s not always clear what type of vehicle these services will send to passengers, so if you need this service, it’s best to call the driver after you make the request to confirm that they have the vehicle you need.
These services are available in major markets like Los Angeles, San Francisco, NYC, Seattle, and San Francisco, but I found that there were no cars regularly available, and when they were available, they were minivan cabs who are on the Taxi/T/Cab platform.
How to drive for WAV, Access, and Assist: Uber may reach out to you if you have an XL vehicle, but otherwise you’ll have to get in touch with Uber and ask to join.
More about Uber Pedal and Bike
A request for an Uber Pedal or Bike vehicle will pair you with an UberX or XL vehicle that has a bike rack installed on the car that can safely carry most types of bikes. You pay a flat $5 fee in addition to the normal X or XL fare rates. Passengers in cities with big biking cultures like Portland and Seattle can theoretically find a driver who can transport their bike, but I found that this service wasn’t very available in either of those two cities.
Pedal/Bike is confirmed to be available in Portland and Seattle.
How to drive for Pedal/Bike: If you’re in a Pedal/Bike market, Uber will reach out to you and offer to set you up with a bike rack. Not all drivers get this message, so if you want to do this service you’ll have to email Uber and ask.
More about UberRush
UberRush is an on-demand item delivery service that is part of a large growth strategy for Uber: To use their logistics application to transport everything from passengers to food and packages. UberRush allows users to send and deliver items, which is a contrast to other delivery apps like Postmates that allow users to receive items. Uber says that it covers lost or damaged items up to $250 and warns users that expensive items aren’t recommended.
Rush is confirmed to be available in New York, San Francisco, and Chicago.
How to drive for UberRush: Apply through the UberRush website. If you’re already an Uber driver, email support and ask to join.
More about Uber HOP
HOP is a localized Uber service that establishes several shuttle-like routes to and from popular destinations in cities for a flat fee, and only during rush hour. Much like shuttle lines, HOP is a straight-line service between two locations. It’s similar to POOL, but with preset destinations; you’ll likely share the ride with another person or two. In Seattle, HOP rides are flat $5 and the service is only available weekdays 7 am – 10 am and 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm.
HOP is confirmed to be available in Seattle and Toronto.
More about Uber LUX
Uber LUX is for Uber users who are willing to pay a lot more to get a ride in luxury cars, like the highest-end BMW, Mercedes, Audi, and even Rolls Royce. It’s not every day that an owner of those cars is willing to give the public rides, so you won’t find too many LUX cars available even in participating markets.
LUX is confirmed to be available in Los Angeles and Miami. The vehicle standards are much higher in Los Angeles, because LA also has Select, a mid-level luxury service. Miami LUX doesn’t have Select, so LUX allows more “regular” luxury cars like BMW 5-Series or Audi A6.
How to find out if an Uber service is available in your area
Uber isn’t very great at publishing lists of services that are available in each city, so the easiest way to find out if a service is available in your city is to open the Uber app and see what options are available at the bottom of the screen. If you don’t see a certain service as an option in the slider, it’s not available in your area.
Readers: Have you ever used one of these obscure Uber services, or driven for one? Let me know in the comments and let’s start a conversation!