Riding Uber on New Year’s Eve? Here’s how to avoid paying a ridiculous price

ubernewyears3If you’re celebrating tonight to ring in the new year, driving a vehicle likely won’t be a good idea. That’s why it’s nice to have taxis, buses and companies like Uber shuttling people around town.

What’s not so nice — at least for riders — are Uber’s prices when demand is through the roof. To encourage more drivers to offer rides when demand exceeds supply, Uber employs a “surge pricing” method. This has angered some customers, but Uber — which notifies customers of the higher fares — maintains that it’s an effective and quick way to get people to their destinations.

“Higher prices bring more cars onto the system when you need them most, and prices return to normal as soon as there are enough open cars,” Uber wrote in a blog post. “When drivers are paid more to log on to Uber, they complete more trips on Uber.”

The company, which is operating on New Year’s Eve for the fourth time, is expecting high traffic tonight and offered some advice to those hoping to avoid paying fares that might empty their wallets.

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As you can see, you’ll avoid the increased prices if you get to your party before 8 p.m., or travel between 10:30 a.m. and 12:15 a.m. — right when everyone prepares to see the ball drop. If you absolutely need a ride from 12:15 a.m.-to-2:30 a.m., well, you’re going to be paying a lot for it.

Here’s Uber co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick offering up more advice for tonight:

Uber Pro Tips for New Year’s Eve from Uber on Vimeo.

  • aaronbrethorst

    …or just use Lyft or a taxi.

  • Adam

    or use Flywheel, same uber convenience no surge pricing, supply is (I believe) more than one cab fleet.

  • That Guy

    Don’t worry! If anyone deserves to be gouged, it’s the yuppie geeks who use these smartphone taxi companies. Wait, let me re-write that: “these uninsured smartphone taxi companies.” Think they’re insured because they say they are? Better think again.