BEWARE: Uber Surge Pricing Tonight, New Years Eve

Uber Surge Pricing

I started putting together a post this morning to Beware of Uber Surge Pricing for tonight since its New Year’s Eve and then what do you know…

Soon after I left for work, an e-mail arrived in my inbox from Uber with the subject “Read Before You Ride: How To Avoid Expensive Fares On New Year’s”.

(Check out last year’s post: Uber Reminder About Surge Pricing For New Year’s Eve.)

Uber’s Surge Pricing has caused many debates over whether it is fair or ethical in some ways. Many people love the service and the fact that a car (if you’re willing to pay) can just about always be found.

I find surge pricing to be a touchy topic. I get the idea behind it but it still seems a bit of a sleazy move to charge a lot more money for rides. On the other hand, if it makes more drivers come to work, some would say it also increases availability.

Regardless of where you stand when it comes to surge pricing, I just wanted to warn those of you that might be considering Uber tonight to be careful. With New Years Eve being a big night for drinking, know what you are getting yourself into when you request that Uber ride.

You don’t want to be the next big Uber fare story like this woman taken on a $293 Uber ride after passing out or go on a $94 2 mile cab ride. And you definitely won’t want to be like this girl. Apparently, she didn’t read my beware of Uber Surge Pricing post and got taken on a very costly ride.

Here are some tips related to Uber Surge Pricing from my Halloween post.

Uber Surge Pricing
image: Uber Blog

Uber is expecting tonight, New Year’s Eve to be their busiest night ever. They are saying that to get enough cars on the road, surge pricing will be required.

They also say that everyone will be looking for a ride at the same time. Due to this, they expect the highest fares to be from 12:30 AM to 2:30 AM. Uber suggest that you “request right when the ball drops at midnight or wait until later for prices to return to normal“.

If you’re planning to rely on Uber for a ride, this means that odds are you will be in for a costly ride tonight. Before requesting that ride, I’d suggest getting a fare estimate and know what you are in for before agreeing to that ride.

When it comes to surge pricing, Uber says:

  • You’ll always be notified in advance and asked to confirm rate increases. You can also estimate your fare
  • Split your fare: share the costs of your ride home with a friend. Or, if you’re in NYC, Paris or San Francisco bring down your costs by sharing your ride with another rider along the same route with UberPool to save up to 50%.

Uber is also doing some good and has partnered with MADD:

  • Uber will donate $1 to Mother’s Against Drunk Driving for each trip taken in the U.S. on New Years Eve. Just be sure to enter promo codeMADDNYE.

In the end I say have a fun time on New Year’s Eve. I personally feel that it is an overrated and overly priced night. If you plan to drink and don’t have a way home, it is still better to pay for Uber with surge pricing than take any risks and drive home drunk.

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