Mixed Modes

Rideshare is undoubtedly a great way to get from one place to another but quickly gets prohibitively expensive for longer journeys. For these trips, users were resigning themselves to expensive UberX trips or lengthy train rides, neither being an ideal solution. In order to help solve this problem, Uber launched Mixed Modes.

Team

Alex Luzi (UXR), Donald Stayner (PM), Rui Huang (Eng), Jake Hurley (Eng), Sagar Sarda (Eng), Diana Robinson (DS), Eric Li (EM)

Role

Interaction and visual design, prototyping, product strategy

Background

Long distance, suburban commuters have had limited transportation options for a long time. For many, the solution is driving or taking public transporation when in reality a combination of both would net the best solution. Unfortunately, awareness of multimodal options is lacking and when they are aware of them, the process of hacking these types of trips together is rife with pain points. As one research participant said, "Uber is so expensive to go to work, but the bus takes a really long time and is unpleasant...I don't take multimodal trips today because it's hard to figure them out and kind of stressful."

"Uber is so expensive to go to work, but the bus takes a really long time and is unpleasant...I don't take multimodal trips today because it's hard to figure them out and kind of stressful."

Uber was uniquely positioned to solve this problem and offer a new product that split the difference between the ease of an UberX and the price of a transit ride. By marrying data for each of those products, we could build multimodal trips for riders and allow them to execute on them all in one place.

Make My Train

In order to start building expertise on the orchestration aspect and begin solving some of our rider's problems, we launched a feature called Make My Train. Many of our riders were already taking trips to transit stations for multimodal commutes but were struggling with knowing when to call the car. To solve this, Make My Train would allow them to tell us which train they were trying to catch and provide them with options that would get them to their train on time.

Put it all together

Make My Train was helping users who were already taking multimodal trips, but there was an entire population of people who were completely unaware that they even existed. In order to help them we needed to solve three things:

Looking to the future

In an effort to learn quickly (and not spend 6 months launching an MVP), we descoped a lot of what was originally planned for this product. We decided to focus on a UberX → transit journey which allowed us to remove some of the complexity that including Bikes, Copters, and other modes would have presented. That being said, here are a couple of the original designs that I really enjoyed.

Break the journey out into separate tabs so each product has a dedicated space to solve for their user's unique needs.

Allow users to select a buffer for their arrival at the train station in case they want to grab a coffee or need some extra time to get to the platform.