Tech Magazine

Uber Comfort is a step up from UberX — but not quite a black car

Uber Comfort is kind of like Goldilocks and her chair preferences: not too big, not too small — but somewhere in between. 

If you’re willing to spend a bit more on your “economy” ride, Uber’s newest ride type could find that middle ground between splurging on a black car and saving with a budget UberX vehicle. If you’re a carpooler and willing to walk to your ride for Uber Pool or Uber Express Pool, Uber Comfort will be a big upgrade.

The new car option has been available in San Francisco for the past few months as a pilot, but as of Tuesday, it’s now available around the country and in Ottawa, Canada. 

For an extra price — but not as much as an Uber Black or Select car — you can have a more comfortable ride. That means newer, bigger mid-size cars with consistent makes and models instead of the very basic requirements for UberX cars (the first bullet on that requirement list is: “4-door vehicle with independently opening passenger doors,” so it’s a wide net). It’s not the plushest option, but if you’re willing to shell out a few more bucks it could be worth it. And for drivers and Uber, it means a higher fare. 

“Comfort” also means cars with more legroom in the back seat. As part of the SF pilot, the app describes Comfort as “newer cars with extra legroom.” Here’s how Comfort pricing stacks up against other “budget” ride options:

Riding in Comfort

Riding in Comfort

Image: uber

This isn’t a premium ride option, so luxury and high-end cars shouldn’t be expected, but some features from Uber’s black car service are available at the lower Comfort price-point. For instance, with Comfort rides you can request your temperature preferences in advance and toggle on “quiet mode” if you’d like to stick to quick pleasantries with the driver and then ride in silence.

Ride-hailing competitor Lyft also offers higher-end ride options with its Lyft Lux and Lux Black service, but those are usually a step up from Comfort with pricier, more high-end types of cars. In San Francisco, a ride from the south side of the city to the Nob Hill neighborhood across town in a Lyft Lux is about $30, while Uber Comfort is nearly $20 for the same distance. (An UberX is just over $14.)

On the driver side, Uber Comfort drivers need to have qualifying vehicles and maintain a 4.85 star rating.

The full city list where Comfort is now available is Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charleston, Charlotte, Chicago, Connecticut, Dallas, Fresno, Hampton Roads, Houston, Honolulu, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Madison, Memphis, Milwaukee, Nashville, New Jersey, New Orleans, Omaha, Orange County, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, Rhode Island, Richmond, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Tucson, Wichita, Washington D.C., and Ottawa, Canada.

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