[By James Burky]
Have you ever wanted to bring your dog, cat, parrot or boa constrictor along for an Uber ride?
Starting Oct. 16, Denver metro riders can bring almost any pet on their trips for a $4 fee with Uber Pet, Uber spokeswoman Stephanie Sedlak said.
The company is testing Uber Pet in Denver and six other markets. Though it’s just a pilot program, all of the Denver metro area can utilize the service. Drivers manually opt into Uber Pet and will not be able to see what animal a customer has when reviewing the ride request.
The expectation is that drivers who consent to Uber Pet will serve a rider’s pet, Sedlak said. Drivers can decline when arriving if they don’t think accommodation is feasible. The $4 surcharge is added to the standard trip fare.
Uber anticipates dogs and cats to be the most common companions, but there is no restriction to what can tag along, as long as the animal is, “within reason,” Sedlak said.
Lyft, Uber’s top competitor, is not instituting a similar program and stands by its existing policy that allows drivers to refuse pet service.
Denver was an obvious choice for the Uber Pet pilot, Sedlak said. The city is seen as a prime candidate for testing Uber platforms because of an active city life and the popularity of services like Uber Eats.
This program will not replace Uber’s existing service animal policy. If you have a service animal, riders will not need to use Uber Pet and will not have to pay an extra fee, Sedlak said.