By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Uber is launching a new, cheaper service in Philadelphia, one that could cost about as much as a SEPTA ride.

Instead of individual door to door service, the Uber Express Pool service debuting Thursday picks up riders near their door and drops them off near their destination, says Uber spokesman Craig Ewer.

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“We’re asking folks to either walk a few blocks to their pickup location or to wait a few minutes to get picked up,” he said. “And the result is that we can produce better matches along more efficient, more direct routes.”

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Ewer says those efficiencies mean fares 50-percent cheaper than Uber Pool and 75 percent less than UberX. That could be less than the $2.50 SEPTA fare.

SEPTA wouldn’t comment directly on the new Uber service but in a statement said, “SEPTA is working hard to improve the customer experience with technology enhancements such as a recently launched app that provides real-time updates on bus locations utilizing GPS, and implementation of the SEPTA Key fare modernization project. SEPTA is also currently doing a thorough study of its bus network in an effort to improve service reliability for customers. We look forward to engaging our riders, stakeholders and other local residents in a dialogue about ideas to enhance bus service throughout the region.”

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