clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Uber bows to the blizzard, will cap surge prices on the East Coast

New, 29 comments

Not that you should be traveling anyway

Uber has capped the amount of money East Coast riders can expect to pay during the upcoming blizzard, Bloomberg reports. The blizzard is set to drop more than 30 inches of snow in parts of the Northeast between today and tomorrow.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has defended the practice of price surging — in which the price of a ride inflates with demand —  claiming it incentivizes speedy pick-ups from drivers. But, after drawing criticism for escalating prices during 2012's Hurricane Sandy and charging customers in Sydney $100 (AUD) to escape an armed hostage crisis last year, it seems the taxi company is finally learning from its PR blunders. In an email to riders obtained by TechCrunch, Uber said New York City prices during the storm will not exceed 2.8 times the normal fare.

The NY attorney general's office will monitor the company

This is the most recent effort by Uber to boost public support — a solid move considering consumers have shown little patience for price-gouging. Last year, Uber reached an agreement with the New York attorney general's office, saying it would cap surge pricing during emergencies on a national level.

Elizabeth DeBold, the New York attorney general's deputy press secretary, told Business Insider the office will be "monitoring all providers of essential services, including transportation, for price gouging," during the storm.

Uber said in a statement to Bloomberg that it would be donating all proceeds collected during the storm to the American Red Cross. New York City mayor Bill de Blasio said yesterday the blizzard could be the "biggest snowstorm in the history of New York City," so traveling at all should be a last resort.