Everyone knows the axiom "only a fool does Pool" and different people have different opinions as to why it's not a good idea. But here, I'm going to show you, using numbers, why you should reject Pool (and Line) requests. Warning: mathematics will be used! The first reason why you should reject Pool is obvious - the rate difference. X pays more than Pool. In SF, X pays me $0.968 per mile and Pool $0.928. X pays me $0.176 per minute and Pool $0.12. But we need to look at the sizes of the individual differences between the rates to get the full picture. Look at the small difference between the per mile rate of X ($0.968) and Pool ($0.928) - Pool pays just 4% less than X. Now look at the difference between the per minute rate of X ($0.176) and Pool ($0.12) - the difference between them is huge - Pool pays 32% less per minute than X. Why did the geeks set only a small difference between the mileage rates and such a large difference between the time rates? Is it just some random thing? No, absolutely not. It is set this way in order to take into account an important difference between X and Pool - that of trip speeds, and therefore trip time. Given similar starting locations and end locations, X trips have a significantly higher average trip speed than Pool trips. Conversely, that means that Pool trips have a significantly lower average trip speed than X. Why is this? Simply because once we pick up an X pax from their residence/office/restaurant etc, we optimise our route and take the fastest route from the pickup to the destination. If the choice is between driving through 25 mph residential streets filled with stop sign after stop sign all the way from pickup to destination or a 65 mph freeway, we take the freeway. We all should know that we earn more in a given amount of time driving 65 mph than we do at 25 mph. And if the choice were between 25 mph and stop signs or a 45 mph inter-suburb main thoroughfare with timed lights, we'd take the main thoroughfare. However, with Pool, the driver's ability to optimise the route for highest possible average speed from pickup to destination is severely limited due to the need to divert from that route to stop to pick up additional passengers. There's also the fact that picking up additional pax means waiting for them, which further lowers the average trip speed. To demonstrate all of this, consider the following route. It starts at 6:00am on a Saturday and has one pickup and one dropoff and is a hypothetical Uber X trip. It starts in Brisbane and ends in downtown San Francisco. It is an 8.3 mile trip which takes 18 minutes. Average speed on this trip is 8.3/(18/60) = 28 mph. The speed is relatively high for a city drive because the 101 freeway can be used for most of the route. Now consider the same trip, with the same passenger, with the same starting point and the same destination. Only this time, the ride is a Pool ride, and two additional pax are added. The driver must come off the freeway after a few miles and go back onto surface residential streets to stop and pick up pax 2 at Colby St, and then through more residential streets to make another stop to pick up pax 3 at 19th street. Then he drives along more 25 mph streets to get back to the freeway. Pax 3's destination is deeper into downtown than pax 1's, and this will mean an extra mile of driving though downtown traffic compared with the X trip. As you can see, the trip distance for this Pool trip is 13.2 miles and the trip duration is 53 minutes. Average speed for this trip drops down to (13.2/(53/60)) = 15 mph. This is because the Pool trip could not make extensive use of the higher-speed route. Earnings for the X trip would be: Base - $1.60 Miles - $8.03 Time - $3.17 Total - $12.80 Earnings for the Pool trip would be: Base - $1.60 Miles - $12.25 Time - $6.36 Add'l Pickups - $2.00 Total - $22.21 So the Pool trip earns more than the X trip. Great, right?! No. On the Pool trip, the driver would have earned $9.41 more, or 73% more money than the X trip. But the Pool trip would take him 53 minutes to complete instead of just 18 minutes on the X trip. That's an additional 35 minutes, or 194% more time. For only 73% more money. If the both trips started at 6:00am, the X driver would be done and ready for his next ride at 6:18am. He earns $12.80 in 18 minutes, or $42.67 per hour equivalent. The Pool driver, however, would not finish his Pool until 6:53am. He earns $22.21 in 53 minutes, or $25.14 per hour. That's a massive earnings drop of 42% on an hourly basis. As stated earlier, Pool hits drivers with a double whammy. Again, average trip speeds are consistently lower on Pool rides than on X rides because of the lower ability on Pool trips to optimize the route by taking faster roads. But there's also the fact that the time element of our pay becomes more important on lower-speed trips than it is on higher-speed trips. When you're gridlocked in traffic, what's paying you is the per-minute time rate much more than the distance rate. Again, Uber knows this perfectly well, and that is why their per-minute rate is so much lower on slower, longer duration Pool trips than it is on faster X trips. The double whammy of lower trip speed and significantly lower pay per minute really hits drivers by lowering their hourly earnings substantially, as above, from $42.67 to $25.14. The above example will hold true in any like-for-like comparison between X and Pool where the trips have similar start and end points, and where the route of the X trip can be optimized by taking higher-speed roads than the Pool trip would take. Which will be every route over a mile or so. The above example trips were programmed during non-peak traffic times but during rush hour, when Pool trips get even more bogged down battling through clogged downtowns to pick up or drop off several pax, the earnings differences between X and Pool are even greater. Some might say, Uber included, that a Pool trip could turn into a long chain and earn more money than an X trip. That's totally true - that's exactly what happened in the example above. The Pool driver did earn more on his trip than the X driver, but he took way more time to do the trip, resulting in a massive earnings-per-hour drop. And that's taking into account the $1 extra paid for each additional pickup. Uber uses smoke and mirrors to deceive its drivers; don't fall for the hoopla. In conclusion, the only way that Pool would ever be worth it for drivers compared with X is if Uber rates for Pool were higher than X, not lower, in order to compensate the driver for the lower speeds and routing inefficiency of Pool. I don't see that happening, ever. This is why drivers should reject Pool, and all the proof you need is right here. As for Lyft Line, that only hits the driver with a single whammy. The pay is once again the same on Line as it is on regular Lyft, but Line earnings are lower than regular Lyft earnings because of the other whammy; lower trip speeds. It's also a no-go.