Uber is officially getting into the office carpooling business

As of this week, it will be rude to ignore the other commuters in an Uber carpool: The company is reviving shared rides, but only for people who work together.

The traditional UberPool—in which individuals are randomly matched to cars with strangers going the same way, making the ride cheaper for everyone—was shut off in mid-March, shortly after the World Health Organization recognized Covid-19 as a pandemic. It remains on hold globally. But today (Sept. 22), Uber is launching two new Uber For Business products that will bring back the option in a more controlled format.

The first, Employee Group Rides, pairs colleagues who live near each other with the same driver. And we do mean literally pair: At least for now, Covid-19 precautions mean that only two colleagues will be allowed to share a car. They might pay for their individual portions of the trip in full, or the employer might subsidize or cover the cost.

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