Toronto

Pan Am Games prompt Uber to bring its carpooling service to GTA

Uber has launched a new carpooling app that could let GTA commuters take advantage of the HOV lanes in place for the Pan Am Games.

Metrolinx is also offering ride-sharing to southern Ontario

Uber hopes its new carpooling option will let drivers take advantage of the HOV lanes in place for the Pan Am Games. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

Uber has launched a new carpooling app that could let GTA commuters take advantage of the HOV lanes in place for the Pan Am Games.

UberPool, a new product from the San Francisco-based ride-sharing company, is being rolled out in Toronto from July 13 to 26 — a trial period that coincides with the Games, which have come along with new HOV regulations that require three people per vehicle.

On Tuesday, UberPool customers will be able to use the service free of charge between between 7 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.

The service works by letting people request a ride to their destination, then pick up more people along the way. The riders will then be dropped off in whatever order makes sense.

Sharing the ride will let customers save around 50 per cent off the normal UberX price, the ride-sharing company says.

But Uber isn't the only business trying to get people to carpool during the Pan Am Games.

Metrolinx, the provincial agency that oversees GO Transit, has a program called Smart Commute that links up people travelling within the GTA. The program has also worked with 340 companies that are encouraging their employees to carpool.

The HOV lanes in place for the Games have also led motorists to search for other ways around the rules, including filling their vehicle with mannequins or watching for cops while dashing in and out of the lanes, as former mayor Rob Ford has admitted to doing.

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