Sticker shock: Uber’s NYE surge pricing outrages some passengers

Some passengers were outraged by Uber's surge pricing on New Year's Eve.

Some passengers were outraged by Uber’s surge pricing on New Year’s Eve.

(Julio Cortez / AP)
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Uber issued plenty of advance warnings before New Year’s Eve, but that didn’t stop passengers from complaining about the ride-hailing app’s surge pricing -- which sent fares skyrocketing in hot spots around the world.

Although taxi drivers in Los Angeles are not allowed to hike fares during peak demand, no similar rules apply to Uber and Lyft.

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Uber tweeted several times in the run-up to New Year’s Eve, encouraging riders to split the cost with friends and run fare estimators in advance.

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

The company released stats on Friday noting that 84% of all U.S. trips between 5 p.m. and 5 a.m. were tallied at less than three times surge pricing. And 60% of trips during that time were regular price, with no surge increases.

Despite those admonitions -- and several news stories that included tips to avoid big Uber tabs -- the post-midnight outrage arrived like clockwork.

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Not everyone was sympathetic to passengers who shelled out big bucks for rides home on New Year’s Eve.

And finally, some suggestions for next year:



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