Menu
Uber agrees to limit 'surge pricing' during emergencies, natural disasters

Uber agrees to limit 'surge pricing' during emergencies, natural disasters

The ride-for-hire service could have faced legal action under New York's price gouging statute

Uber has agreed to put a cap on its tactic of raising prices during emergencies and natural disasters.

The agreement with New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman came after the service received sharp criticism for raising prices during extreme weather that hit New York earlier this year. In some cases, passengers were charged more than US$100 for rides of just a few miles.

Schneiderman had held out the prospect of prosecution under New York's price gouging statute as he talked to the company.

Under the deal, Uber will still exercise "surge pricing" -- a dynamic adjustment of fares to suit demand -- but the price it charges will be limited during "abnormal disruptions of the market," which typically refers to weather-related emergencies and natural disasters, but also encompasses things like power failures, civil disorder and wars.

At those times, Uber will be limited to "the normal range of prices it charged in the preceding sixty days." When calculating that rate, there will be an additional exclusion on "the three highest prices charged on different days during that period."

While the agreement just covers New York state, Schneiderman's office said Uber is going to roll out a similar cap nationwide.

"Uber is expected to announce a national policy to limit pricing in emergencies that is based on this agreement," it said in a statement.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick carefully praised the agreement in a statement and promoted it as a model for possible future regulatory agreements with other arms of government.

"This policy intends to strike the careful balance between the goal of transportation availability with community expectations of affordability during disasters," he said. "Our collaborative solution with Attorney General Schneiderman is a model for technology companies and regulators in local, state and federal government."

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetindustry verticalsInternet-based applications and servicesAutomotiveUber

Featured

Slideshows

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

Partners are actively building out security practices and services to match, yet remain challenged by a lack of guidance in the market. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable - in association with Sophos - assessed the making of an MSSP, outlining the blueprint for growth and how partners can differentiate in New Zealand.

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ
Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the inaugural Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months, with more than ​​50 organisations in the spotlight.​​​

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP has honoured its leading partners in New Zealand during 2018, following 12 months of growth through the local channel. Unveiled during the fourth running of the ceremony in Auckland, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of standout Kiwi partners.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments