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Uber guarantees space for skis and snowboards with Uber Ski feature

Kirsten Korosec
Jordan Zdknek of Silverthorne, Colorado unloads the skis and snowboards from the roof rack as he and his friends prepare for opening day at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.
Jordan Zdknek of Silverthorne, Colorado unloads the skis and snowboards from the roof rack as he and his friends prepare for opening day at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.

Uber is launching a new feature aimed at skiers and snowboarders.

The ride-hailing company said Wednesday that beginning December 17 an Uber Ski icon will pop up on the app that will let customers order a ride with confirmed extra vehicle space or a ski/snowboarding rack.

Uber is launching the feature in 23 U.S. cities located in areas near mountain resorts, such as Anchorage, Boise, Boston, Eastern Washington, Flagstaff, Ariz., Grand Rapids, Mich., Green Bay, Wis., Lehigh Valley, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New Hampshire, Portland, Ore., Portland, Maine, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Upstate New York, Vermont, Wilkes-Barre, Scranton and Worcester, Wyo. Riders living in Colorado cities such as Colorado Springs, Denver, Fort Collins and the front range of the Rockies where numerous resorts are located will also have the feature.

Uber hasn't said if it will offer the ski feature outside of the United States.

Uber Ski is the latest of additional features aimed at attracting new users or retaining existing ones. Uber wouldn't say if a bike option might be next. However, Nundu Janakiram, head of rider experience, said to expect more features like this one.

"No one customer is the same, which is why part of our platform strategy is unlocking capabilities for unique needs, at the right times," Janakiram said. "Uber Ski is the latest step toward that goal, and we'll have more to share in the future as we continue to identify ways we can do more in the vein of Uber Ski, Uber Pet and more for riders that love Uber's convenience."

The feature comes with a cost. Riders pay an additional surcharge for the selection, on top of their standard trip fare. Riders will be able to view the Uber Ski surcharge on their receipt, and the surcharge will be added to their upfront price when that option is selected in-app, the company said.

Drivers don't have to participate in Uber Ski. They can opt-out of Uber Ski trips in the driver preferences menu in the app, while still receiving other eligible trip opportunities, according to the company. If they choose to accept Uber Ski trips, drivers will also receive a significant portion of that surcharge, on top of their standard trip earnings.

Drivers who want to participate will first need to snap and upload to the app's documents section a photo of their vehicle to confirm eligibility.