What Is Uber Intercity? Will Drivers Take On Longer Trips?

As a Rideshare Driver of 8 years, I have seen many changes over that period of time. The most important happened to be Upfront Fares which was rolled out nationwide about 18 months ago. With it came its own issues which we frequently discuss during our livestream/podcast SMTMC (Show Me The Money Club).

Upfront Fares was sold to the driver community as a Rebalancing, short trips would be paying more and long ones would receive a cut but we have proven this not to be the case multiple times, things have not rebalanced. We constantly run surveys on RSG and a vast majority of drivers have concluded that Upfront Fares has been an overall rate cut, I believe it is my fifth over the past 8 years.

One thing that we all appreciate about Upfront Fares is that now we get to see the destination of the Rider before we accept the offer. We have exactly 10 seconds on Uber and 15 seconds on Lyft to do some quick math in order to make sure that the trip is a profitable one. My conclusion with Upfront Fares is that as ICs (Independent Contractors) we have exchanged lower fares for the ability to see where the passenger is going.

Uber Introduces Intercity Trips

Uber Intercity is a product that enables eligible drivers within select service areas to get trips to nearby cities. This Intercity Preference Tab showed up in my app a few days ago and I think it will be a welcome change for a lot of drivers.

In the US, Intercity is piloting between the following cities:

LA and Orange County, LA and Palm Springs, LA and Inland Empire.

Orlando and Central Atlantic Coast, FL

In Canada, Intercity is available between the following cities:

Toronto and Hamilton, Toronto and Kitchener Waterloo, Toronto and Niagara, Toronto and London (Ontario), Kitchener Waterloo and Hamilton, Niagara and Hamilton, Vancouver suburbs and downtown Vancouver

Benefits of Intercity Trips

Potential for higher earnings: Longer trips can help a driver earn more. Out-of-town surcharges are added to driver earnings in applicable routes. As tens of thousands of drivers have become an extra set of eyes and ears for me through SMTMC, I received a lot of trip screenshots and I must say, they seem like they pay a lot more than long trips under Upfront Fares.

You’ll see the destination on the offer card. You can also use the agency option to turn your preference for these trips on or off. Escape the city traffic and drive on longer highway trips. To receive Intercity trip requests, go to the Preferences section and switch on INTERCITY. If at any time you decide you no longer want to receive Intercity requests, you can opt-out by going to Preferences in the Driver app and deselecting INTERCITY. Return trips to home cities will be prioritized according to the Uber website. However, trips are dependent on market conditions. Uber can’t guarantee that you’ll receive such trip requests to return to your home base.

One major issue with Intercity trips is that as drivers we do not get to see the exact drop off address like we do on X, Comfort etc. Take a look at the difference between Intercity and Regular ping screens below. Looks like we are back to the dark ages again!

My Conclusion

Overall, I like this option for Drivers who used to take long trips with the Rate Card previous to Upfront Fares. Since then, a lot of long trips are being declined due to low pay, this may set the precedent for Drivers to accept long trips again. I wish Uber did not eliminate showing the Driver the cross streets like we became accustomed to with Upfront Fares for the past 18 months. Afterall, Uber knows the exact drop off address, why hide this information again? Leaves a lot of room for guessing and as Drivers, we do not like guessing.


One of the key features that sets Uber Intercity apart is its simplicity as well as the potential of higher earnings for Drivers. With just a few taps on the Uber app, travelers can book a comfortable and reliable ride to their destination, eliminating the need to navigate complex travel arrangements or deal with the stress of driving long distances. This simplicity extends to the pricing, with upfront fares ensuring that travelers know exactly what they will pay before they embark on their journey.

Uber Intercity also boasts a diverse fleet of vehicles, ranging from economy cars to luxury vehicles, allowing travelers to choose the option that best suits their needs and budget. Whether a Rider is traveling solo or with a group, Uber Intercity has them covered, offering vehicles that can accommodate parties of all sizes.

Overall, Uber Intercity represents a paradigm shift in long-distance travel, offering a level of convenience, comfort, and safety that is unmatched. As I look to the future, it’s clear that Uber Intercity will continue to play a pivotal role in shaping the way Riders move between cities, providing a reliable and efficient option for travelers across the United States.