Uber users feel sting of peak surge price rises

Shot in the eye on New Year’s Eve because some insane person with a gun fired it in the air at midnight? An Uber spokesperson told The Verge that most trips surrounding New Year’s Eve partying – around 60% – had no surge at all.

Surge pricing“, a controversial technique used by Uber and Lyft that increases the price of a ride when demand is high, certainly went into effect on Thursday evening as some customers paid hundreds of dollars for a ride. However, buyer beware. Both Lyft and Uber say they will start their premium pricing starting at 12:30 a.m., meaning riders could end up shelling out up to five or six times more than they normally would. He described what a typical surge ride from River North to Lakeview would be.

“Your NYE price surge was an egregious and financially assaultive way to take advantage of a holiday and responsible people’s desire to avoid DUIs”, wrote one person on Uber’s Facebook wall.

“Surge pricing shouldn’t be a surprise!” the company said on its blog.

If you are drinking tonight, make sure to have a way home that doesn’t involve you getting behind the wheel. You can also split the tab with friends and the app shows you how.

“I was really excited to use Uber because the fares are meant to be cheaper”. Maybe you’ll have to pay three times the going rate in the months of November and December.

When the Lyft system is jammed it does something similar, called Prime Time. And it’s free after 8 p.m. And there’s the Safe Ride Home Program in Orland Park, Tinley Park, Palos Heights, Mokena and New Lenox.

If you are a first time Uber user enter the code “SAFERIDEIA” to get two free rides up to $15 each. Officers will drive them home, no questions asked.

Uber Oregon general manager Bryce Bennett said the increased prices kick in automatically whenever ride requests outnumber available drivers, and they expect that to happen on New Year’s Eve. Tips include checking the price, splitting your fare, confirming your driver and keeping your number masked.

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