SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – The Bay Area got hit by a double-whammy Thursday: the biggest storm in years, and the highest Uber fares ever, giving new meaning to ‘surge pricing.’
The Twittersphere lit up as Uber fares skyrocketed during the much anticipated #stormageddon. One woman tweeted, “when we talk about ‘storm surge’ we’re really talking about Uber prices right?”
By early morning rush hour, Uber was charging $.99 cents/minute or $4.94/mile. The minimum fare was over $16.00.
During times of high demand, Uber fares are subject to a surge multiplier. Thursday morning’s multiplier was 3.8 times the normal fare.
For Uber, Thursday’s was the perfect storm to raise fares. Just in San Francisco, more than 70,000 people were without power. BART’s Montgomery station was shut down, forcing people to find alternative transit. Street lights were out, causing chaos for drivers and pedestrians.
Others said the price hike wasn’t all that bad:
Uber’s website offers an explanation for surge pricing.
‘With surge pricing, Uber rates increase to get more cars on the road and ensure reliability during the busiest times. When enough cars are on the road, prices go back down to normal levels. It’s important to know that you’ll always be notified in big, bold print if surge pricing is in effect. When rates are more than double, the surge confirmation screen also requires you to type in the specific surge multiplier to ensure you understand what rates to expect.’
No word yet as to when Uber fares will return to normal.