Uber Pool & Lyft Line Go Back to the Future [Bad UX]

Product Background

While I am generally a proponent of Uber Pool and Lyft Line, and I think they can get even better (as previously discussed), the display of pricing and arrival times is sometimes more disingenuous than is necessary. See prior example with Lyft and “free rides” due to the usage of gift cards.

One of the complaints I regularly hear from Uber and Lyft drivers is that they wish riders were more educated as to how shared rides worked and that they often misunderstood when they would arrive because of a lack of clarity around the number and frequency of stops.

This educational issue is exacerbated in both apps as the arrival times for shared rides are often shown as the same time as non-shared rides, when the non-shared ride option is selected.

Only when the shared ride option is selected is the full time range displayed. Unless Marty McFly and Dr. Emmett Brown are going to show up in a DeLorean, those initial arrival times are likely going to be consistently wrong.

User Experience - 2018

In the same ride from OAK Airport to SFO Airport, upon initial request we see the following.:

Notes - Rides were selected at different times and Express Pool is a different product than Lyft Line, although the result is the same if looking at normal Uber Poll.

Uber has also since fixed this issue, see 2019 update below.

Lyft - December 3, 2018

  • Non-Share Ride Selected (Lyft)

    • Non-Share Arrival Time Displayed - 8:43am

    • Shared Arrival Time Displayed - 8:48am

    • Difference - 5 Min

  • Shared Ride Selected (Lyft Line)

    • Non-Share Arrival Time Displayed - 8:44am

    • Shared Arrival Time Displayed - 8:49-8:57am

    • Difference - 13min

Uber - December 3, 2018

  • Non-Share Ride Selected (Uber X)

    • Non-Share Arrival Time Displayed - 7:17pm

    • Shared Arrival Time Displayed - 7:18pm

    • Difference - 1 Min

  • Shared Ride Selected (Uber Express Pool)

    • Non-Share Arrival Time Displayed - 7:17pm

    • Shared Arrival Time Displayed - 7:18-7:37pm

    • Difference - 20 Min

User Experience Update for 2019

Uber has actually fixed this in their latest version of the application for Android, displaying time ranges instead of the earlier times.

Lyft continues to hide the Shared time range when a regular Lyft is requested.