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Looking to share a ride in Toronto? uberPOOL arrives Wednesday

Last Updated Jan 11, 2016 at 2:06 pm EDT

The Uber mobile app is shown on a smartphone in an undated file photo. CITYNEWS

A new Uber service will hit Toronto’s streets on Wednesday, allowing users to get around the city using a combination of carpooling and ride-sharing.

UberPool will allow customers to share a ride and split the cost by being matched with one or two rides traveling the same way.

The company estimates it will cost 30 per cent less than UberX.

“We want to reduce the number of cars on the road, while providing Torontonians with transportation that’s more affordable than ever,” the company writes on its website.

“When two people share their ride, that’s one less car on the road and a cheaper fare for both riders.”

The service will launch at 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

In an exclusive story last February, CityNews reported Uber was preparing to expand its service with uberPOOL. A two-week trial was conducted during the Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.

uberPOOL will be available from Jane Street and Victoria Park Avenue up to Highway 401, as well as the Yonge corridor north of the 401 to Finch Avenue between Bathurst Street and Bayview Avenue. Click here to view the coverage map.

The minimum uberPOOL fare is $4 and it includes a $1.50 Safe Rides Fee. It has a maximum of two passengers per request, and the second passenger will add $1 to the fare.

“Fares are quoted in the app before you request, so you always know exactly what you’ll pay,” the website reads.

Click here to find out how to request a pool.

uberPOOL is the latest offering aimed at appealing to users of the ride-sharing service.

Last December, Uber launched a transit-like option called uberHOP, which lets users pay a flat $5 to travel with other commuters along four specific routes. The service uses large SUVs or mini vans that can carry up to five passengers from the same spot on a fixed route.

And just last week, insurance company Aviva Canada said it plans to support Uber drivers with special coverage that will be available for Ontario drivers in early February. It is also working to expand it across the country.

The coverage will protect those contracted with UberX from the moment they initiate looking for passengers through to collecting and dropping off those passengers.

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