Fluctuating transportation costs can be frustrating — especially when you’re trying to stick to a budget.
That’s why Uber launched a subscription plan last week promising riders consistent prices on unlimited rides throughout the month.
Those who sign up for the plan don’t have to worry about price surges when there’s a high demand for rides or differences in costs based on traffic or the time of day.
Uber’s plan doesn’t lay out a specific cost per trip, but The Verge reported the locked-in rates riders pay will be based on historical prices and will be discounted up to 15%.
The compensation drivers receive will not change based on the discounted rides.
The subscription plans start at $14.99 and is being piloted in five cities — Austin, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami and Orlando. According to The Verge, riders in Los Angeles must pay $24.99 a month for the plan, but the service in that city is expected to expand soon to include free access to Uber-owned JUMP bikes and scooters. Subscribers in the other four cities pay $14.99.
The subscription plan cost is the up-front fee to enroll users in the program. Riders pay for each trip separately when they schedule a ride.
Once you’re signed up, the service automatically renews your subscription at the end of the month, but you can cancel anytime.
The announcement of Uber’s subscription service follows news earlier in October that Lyft’s subscription plan is available throughout the country. Subscribers to the rival company’s plan pay $299 for the month to get 30 “free” rides — as long as the ride would typically cost $15 or less. We wrote about Lyft testing a version of that plan back in July.
Uber’s $14.99 base price sounds a lot less daunting than Lyft’s $299, but it depends on the locked-in rate of the Uber trip and how often you’d use the service. For example, if you’re taking 30 $10 rides a month with Uber’s Ride Pass, you’d be paying $300 — plus the initial $14.99 or $24.99 — which would bring your total to more than the cost of Lyft’s subscription plan.
You’ll have to tap into your math skills to figure out which subscription plan is better for you, but it’s worth it if it saves you money.
Opting in to a subscription plan can also benefit riders who don’t want to gamble on price fluctuations throughout the month. It certainly makes it easier to stick to a budget when you know that $15 ride to work won’t jump to $25 on the way home.
*Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.
*This post was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.