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article imageUber launches Uber Pet to allow pets to accompany Uber customers

By Ken Hanly     Oct 10, 2019 in Travel
The ride-hailing company Uber is experimenting with a new feature that is designed to reduce cancellations from customers who want to bring their pet on a ride. The new feature Uber Pet will be offered in select cities beginning this October 16th.
Uber service now predictable
Prior to the introduction of Uber Pet bringing a dog or cat along with an Uber ride was unpredictable. Uber recommended that customers contact their drivers before trying to bring along their pets but perhaps many did not follow this advice. A common complaint of Uber drivers is that they often encounter customers with surprise pets.
Why some drivers do not want pets
Many people have allergies to cat and dog hair. A driver with allergies can hardly be expected to pick up customers with pets to which he or she is allergic. Other drivers object to having to clean up hair left by animals. This could be particularly bad if the animal is shedding.
How Uber Pet works
Before selecting their ride there will be among the list of options Uber Pet. There will be a surcharge of $3 to $5 upfront when the option is selected in the app. Driver's who do not want to carry pets can opt out in the preferences section of the driver app. If they opt in the company says they will receive a "significant portion" of the surcharge added to their regular earnings.
Service animals are exempt from the surcharge
In accordance with federal and state law service animals are allowed to ride at all times at no extra cost as is reflected in Uber's policy: " In accordance with Uber's policies, service animals are permitted to accompany riders at all times. If you're traveling with a pet that's not a service animal, drivers may choose whether or not to allow the pet in their vehicle.If you're planning to ride with a pet that's not a service animal, it's good practice to contact the driver who accepted your ride request to let them know. You can use the Uber app to send a text message or call your driver.Please help drivers keep vehicles clean for all riders by bringing a carrier or blanket to reduce the risk of damage or mess. Some drivers may keep a blanket or other covering in the trunk of their vehicle."
Uber Pet will be available to all customers starting on October 16th in the following cities: Austin, Denver, Nashville, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Tampa Bay. If successful no doubt Uber Pet will be applied further afield.
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