If you're planning to be out and about this evening to celebrate New Year's Eve and thought about using Uber, be prepared to pay the price.
The private car company announced last week that it plans on using "surge pricing" Monday night as the demand for its services will be higher than normal.
Uber spelled out what that means on their website:
When there are not enough cars on the road to provide rides for everyone that wants one, the price automatically increases. When there are enough cars on the road given demand, then the price comes back down. Over the last year, we’ve seen the huge impact surge pricing has on getting more cars on the road, and getting cars and drivers to stay out longer.
When there is a shortage in supply, the price automatically increases, creating an incentive for drivers to get on the road. The price continues to increase until there are enough cars to meet current demand. Assuming we raise price quickly enough to maintain healthy supply, there will always be an Uber ride available. NYE pricing is not for the faint of heart. The average surge multiple will be about 2x normal prices, during the worst times (12:30 AM until 2:45 AM), but prices during extreme spikes could cost you $100 MINIMUM before time and mileage charges! These are limos, people, so be careful with those Uber ride requests: Uber rides will be reliable on New Year’s Eve, but they’ll also be pretty pricey.
If you have an iPhone, then you will be able to estimate the fare before you book the car, but all users will be warned beforehand if surge pricing is currently under effect.
According to Uber, if you're looking to save, avoid using it between 8:30 p.m. -9:45 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. - 2:45 a.m.
Uber has used surge pricing before - including in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which the car company drew criticism for.