Yesterday, the people in the city of London were forced to find other ways to commute because of a tube strike that brought the train service to a standstill. This obviously resulted in an immediate demand for taxis, ridesharing services, and buses, which happened to cause the Uber app to surge its prices. We're not talking about a slight increase either, the prices of some fares at one point during the day were trippled!
This of course caused a lot of anger, and people took to social media to vent their frustration and Uber were left this morning facing a media backlash. All of this anger against the company has prompted Uber to review their own app and justify the reason why surges during these times are a ‘good thing.’
Eventually, Uber compared their own wait times to Gett, Hailo, and Adison Lee, and you guessed it, Uber came out on top.
In their defense, the company said that the surge in pricing benefits everybody. They say that due to the surge, there were more UberX drivers available because they were motivated to hit the road. Another reason for the surge, is that their prices are already lower than other taxi services in London to begin with.
At the end of the day, there is still a 2.9x increase in their own charts. In an interview, a London mayoral candidate Sadiq Kahn told the Guardian (opens in new tab), “Uber may be very clever with their ‘dynamic demand,’ but it still looks like a rip-off when you are struggling to get to and from work while the tube is out of action.”