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The end of car ownership? Uber launches subscription service in five US cities

Members, who will pay between US$14.99 and US$24.99 a month, will avoid surge pricing, times of peak demand when the cost of a trip can sometimes double

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Uber reckons the membership will be particularly useful for those who use cabs in rush hour

Ride-hailing app Uber has launched a membership scheme for passengers in five US cities which it hopes will encourage them to ditch their own cars.

The scheme, called Ride Pass, allows members to avoid surge pricing, when the cost of a journey rises during rush hour and other times when demand is high.

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Uber is charging users US$24.99 a month in Los Angeles and US$14.99 in Austin, Denver, Miami and Orlando for the fixed-fare scheme.

The plan is to roll out memberships to other US cities, although there are contrasting reports as to whether it will be introduced in London or other UK cities.

By locking in consistent prices regardless of time or day, Uber estimates that passengers can save up to 15% a month though the new service.

Bye-bye to cars?

 “One thing we hear a lot from riders is that changes in price - however small - can make it tough to plan their day with Uber,” said Uber product manager Dan Bilen.

“The daily commute is a classic example, and it goes something like this: you pay one low price for the ride to work, only to find the ride back home is a different story.”

He added: “We want to make Uber a reliable alternative to driving yourself - an affordable option people can use for their everyday transportation needs.”

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