Uber Surge is a feature that changes prices when the demand from customers exceeds what can be provided. The feature is a driving force behind the whole service, ensuring that Uber remains reliable for all of its users.
How Surge Pricing Works
Surge pricing begins when the demand for rides increases. At these times, so many people are requesting Uber rides that the drivers currently working do not have the time to meet the demand. Surge happens during rush hour, when there is bad weather and not many drivers out, or during special events like football games. Whenever there is an event that would cause lots of people to need a ride, Surge kicks in.
What Happens When Surge Begins?
When more people begin requesting rides, the prices will increase in increments. This creates a finance incentive for more drivers to begin driving and provide passengers with the service they need. Users will receive a notification when they request a ride, telling them how much of a price increase is currently being placed on all rides. Users will not be allowed to book an Uber ride without confirming that they understand prices have gone up.
Users will also be given the option to wait a few minutes. In that time, the prices can go down or even go back to the standard rate. This occurs as a result of drivers slowly coming out onto the road to take advantage of the higher prices, until eventually, there are enough drivers to match the amount of trip requests being made.
How Are Surge Prices Calculated?
When ride prices are surging, a user is presented with a multiplier. For instance, if the user sees a multiplier of 1.7x, it means that the standard rate is multiplied by 1.7 to create the new surged price. For instance, if the standard fare is $10, then the surge price would be $17.
Users should understand, however, that surge pricing changes very quickly. Prices are amended in real time to reflect the amount of people who are ordering cars, and the amount of people driving cars. If surge pricing is double the standard fare, then users can simply wait until enough people are driving and the prices have gone down. In some cases, after just five or ten minutes, the pricing can reduce significantly. This system was put into place to ensure that Uber can provide the most reliable service to customers, and make sure that there are always drivers on the road.
Colour Coded Surge
When demand is increasing in a specific area, the map will appear highlighted in different colors. You can see where demand is the highest by looking for areas of the map highlighted in red. This means that demand has become so high that surge has begun.
In orange areas, there is heavily increased demand, and in yellow areas, there is slightly increased demand. Everywhere else that appears without a highlighted color is experiencing regular demand.