For a limited time, Uber is introducing a fixed fare of $7.13 for rides that originate and end anywhere within the 610 loop and in popular Houston areas like the Galleria and Memorial. Beginning Monday, the Flat Fares will be available from 6 am to 8 pm weekdays. The lower fares apply to UberX and UberACCESS trips.
If the ride is less than $7.13, riders will pay the lower price.
Drivers, who have been know to complain to Houston Uber riders that they are making less due to the company's revised calculation of payments, will not suffer from this reduced fare promotion as Uber plans to reimburse drivers the difference between the regular fares and the fixed rate.
"Today, we are engaging commuters with low-cost fares. Tomorrow, we hope to be able to help tackle Houston’s congestion by moving these commuters in fewer cars like we do in 32 other cities with UberPOOL," said spokesperson Debbie Hancock in an email.
Uber has not instituted the shared ride system, known as UberPOOL, in Houston because of ongoing differences with the city over regulations. The city requires that all drivers undergo a fingerprint and background check and Uber has hinted it may withdraw service in Houston if the rules are not dropped or revised.
City officials also have recently announced that a smart phone app combining all taxis under a single system will soon be unveiled in what appears to be a bid to compete with Uber.
As the map above shows, Uber's Flat Fares are good inside the 610 Loop or in an area bounded by the Sam Houston Tollway, the Katy Freeway and the Westpark Tollway.