July 2, 2015 2:18 pm
Updated: July 2, 2015 2:21 pm

Is UberPOOL coming to Toronto?

In this photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, a man leaves the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco. Uber could be expanding it's carpooling service into Toronto.

AP/Eric Risberg/File
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TORONTO — Rumours have been circling for months on whether UberPOOL will be coming to Toronto, but the company has been tight-lipped on when the new technology will become a local reality.

UberPOOL works by allowing passengers to share rides – and costs – with another user who happens to be requesting a ride along a similar route.

Riders could save up to half the cost of the fare while adding only a few minutes to their trip.

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READ MORE: Uber in court with City of Toronto over legality of ride-hailing operations

The service would be significantly cheaper than the company’s lowest fare option, UberX, which uses drivers who own their own vehicles and meet Uber’s requirements.

Uber spokeswoman Susie Heath said the company is “actively working” to bring UberPOOL to Toronto, although they wouldn’t comment on a launch date.

“We know that ridesharing and carpooling services complement public transit by connecting people to existing transit infrastructure and can dramatically reduce congestion and emissions,” she said.

“While we don’t have specific launch plans for Toronto to share at the moment, I can tell you that Uber works to help solve the most pressing transportation problems facing cities.”

READ MORE: Carpooling app BlancRide sees huge usage increase in Toronto thanks to Pan Am HOV lanes

A similar carpooling app called BlancRide has seen a 300 per cent week-over-week increase in user registration around Toronto since the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games HOV lanes came into effect Monday.

According to a company spokesperson, the number of ride requests in Toronto has quadrupled during that same week-over-week period.

UberPOOL first launched in San Francisco in Aug. 2014 and has since moved to cities such as Paris, Los Angeles and New York City.

Uber Canada general manager Ian Black told the Toronto Star last month that Toronto would be a “perfect city” for the carpooling app to launch, but again refused to outline a specific launch date.

The decision may have been slowed by a court hearing last month into the city’s request for a permanent injunction to block Uber’s operations in Toronto, but the judge has not released his decision yet.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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