By Jennifer Van Grove
The San Diego Union-Tribune
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The Uber empire keeps on growing. Today the ride sharing giant added a new service called Passport which will offer one-way rides from San Diego into Mexico. Yes, that’s right, no return trip. Travelers trying to get back into the U.S. will have to take an Mexican Uber to the border, walk across and then take an American Uber back home.
Your next trip to Mexico could be just a push of a button away.
On Friday, Uber will launch Passport, its first cross-border service, offering one-way transportation from San Diego across the San Ysidro border to anywhere in the northern Baja California region, which extends as far south as Ensenada and as far east as Mexicali. The new service offers travelers an alternative to buses, commercial cabs or simply walking across the border.
“It’s very exciting for us because there are a lot of places where we could have launched a cross-border product, but we recognize the importance of the largest border crossing in the world and the unique relationship between San Diego and Tijuana,” said Christopher Ballard, general manager for Uber in Southern California. “These are cities whose families, cultures and economies are closely linked.”
The cross-border trips are only available through Uber’s black car option, which costs more than UberX rides but all participating drivers will be commercially licensed and properly insured.
Passport riders can expect to pay a $20 convenience fee on top of per-mile and per-minute rates, in part to make the trek worthwhile for drivers. A trip from downtown San Diego to the Tijuana airport, for instance, will cost around $100. Fares can be split between up to four passengers.
The program is designed to ease transportation for a swath of locals already commuting between the two nations. Roughly 50,000 people have historically taken an Uber ride from the San Diego area to the border.