Car pooling with Uber a success during Pan Am, says company

17,500 passengers car pooled during Pan Am Games, says Uber

Uber’s latest initiative to win its very public war with the Toronto taxi industry is being hailed a success by the controversial company.

Its latest promotion, a carpool initiative during the Pan Am Games, was UberPool, a car pooling trial that allowed passengers to use the high-occupancy-vehicle lanes on Toronto highways.

The ride-hailing company says about 17,500 people used the service during the two-week stretch where HOV lanes required three or more people in a vehicle. Uber say the service had its biggest use during rush hours.

Uber says the trips were concentrated in downtown Toronto and on the on surrounding highways.

In recent months, the controversial ride-sharing service began delivering lunch, giving out birthday cake, dropping off puppies at workplaces for playtime, bringing ice cream to users and offering free breathalyzer tests on Bloor Street. The company is also publicizing its goal of “economically empowering” one million women through Uber.

Uber’s public battle with the taxi industry includes protests by taxi drivers, vocal political allies describing Uber as “bandits”, and a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all taxi drivers in Ontario.