Yesterday, Uber launched a new tier of its ride-hailing service called “Uber Comfort.”
The new service offers riders nicer vehicles, more highly rated drivers, and temperature and conversation preferences — AKA the ability to opt out of a 20 minute soliloquy on your driver’s chihuahua’s intestinal problems — for a 20% to 40% premium over standard UberX fares.
Silence isn’t Uber’s first premium feature
In fact, Uber now has 7 tiers — Express Pool, Pool, X, X Diamond, Comfort, Select, and Black (the last 2 are even more expensive than the new Comfort tier).
Uber rolled out rider preferences in May in its topmost rider tiers, turning silence into a premium feature.
But reactions to the ‘Quiet Ride’ feature have been mixed
Some people have argued that forcing Uber drivers to bite their tongues is another example of Uber imposing harsh working conditions on its drivers.
But other commentators point out that the new Comfort Mode also enables drivers to earn an extra 20% for rides of the same duration and distance, making the silent treatment well worth their while.