Uber’s New Pilot Program, UberHOP, Touches Down in Toronto

Watch out, taxi lobby. Uber’s bringing $5 rides to town.

Bernard Weil/Toronto Star via Getty Images

When the sun sets in New York, LA or any number of other major metropolitan areas in the U.S., the phrase “I’ll just order an Uber” can be overheard maybe 18,453 times. But when last night’s Uber fares wake up for work, they hop in their car and forget the service even exists. Now the international transportation company is trying to change that with UberHOP.

For $5, UberHOP will take a passenger clear across Toronto. The reason UberHOP is so affordable is because the company is betting on ride-sharing to make the model scalable. Indeed, rather than having thousands of single-occupant cars clog the streets and highways of Toronto, there will be bunches of strangers sharing Uber vehicles at rush hours.

Operating on set routes, the service means that Uber app users can join fellow commuters as they head into (or leave) work. In doing so, Uber drivers will be able to keep the fairs down as well as maximize their time on the clock. The plans architects pledge to “reduce congestion” as well—a boon to Torontonians who are no strangers to gridlock.

It will be interesting to see how the Toronto taxi drivers handle the new cost-effective means of transportation, given the last time we checked, they didn’t like the Uber community.

If the program is a success, UberHOP is expected to crop up in other cities. Although the program is only a slight variation from UberPool—the company’s already-established ride-sharing service, which doesn’t stick to a predetermined route—it seems to have just enough differentiation to catch on.