#StormTO Follow-Up

First and foremost, we hope that everyone is safe and damage to your homes and property is minimal from the thunderstorms and flash flooding that occurred earlier this week.

Over the past couple of days, you may have heard about “surge pricing,” or experienced it yourself on Monday, and we wanted to take a moment to explain what surge pricing is and clear up some common misconceptions.

First to clarify, we never surge the prices of the uberTAXI option. Regular taxis are always priced at the standard metered rate. This was the case during the most recent storm. We only surge the luxury UberBLACK option – which provides Black Sedans and SUVs.

At times of increased demand, we use surge pricing to try and guarantee reliability on our system. This means dynamically changing the price. When demand spikes (and supply fails to keep up with it), prices go up. Higher prices encourage more drivers to come onto the system. Once demand subsides or more cars become available, the price of a ride goes back to normal.

Raising prices is necessary because drivers don’t want to be out anymore than you or I do. Difficult driving conditions, gridlocked traffic, and potential for vehicle damage (their source of income) makes getting off the road a very attractive option. When drivers choose not to work, our system stops working and getting a car isn’t an option – none will be available. As a result of surge pricing, we kept more supply on the road and were able to make more than double the number of trips happen, helping to alleviate the transportation crunch the city was facing.

We love this city, and it pains us that surge pricing is perceived as taking advantage of Torontonians. That certainly wasn’t our intention. At Uber, we’re always striving to make our product better and this experience has shown that we need to do a better job explaining surge pricing. Our goal isn’t to rip anyone off — it’s to make sure that the option of a ride is there when people need it. We hope you’ll give us that chance.

-Billy Guernier
GM, Uber Toronto

Featured articles

Uber for Business now makes it easy to give your customers a ride

We’re excited to expand the Uber for Business platform beyond business travel, to include a world-class customer transportation solution, Uber Central. With Uber Central, organizations of all shapes and sizes can now easily provide on-demand, door-to-door transportation for their customers, clients, and guests.

UberEATS: Using technology to build a reliable food delivery experience

A little over a year ago, we set out to put a new spin on an old classic–make reliable food delivery available at the tap of a button. Back then, we started by offering food in the UberEATS app from 1,000 pioneering restaurant partners in four cities. And today, more than 40,000 restaurants globally–from poke shops to pasta spots–are sharing food with customers through UberEATS. With a growing restaurant community comes more choices and more complexity. So we’re cooking up features to continue to make UberEATS easy and reliable. Here is a taste–

Let’s take care of each other

This flu season, we’re delivering free flu-fighting care packages across the country. When you receive a pack, you’ll have the option to request a free flu shot from a registered nurse–for up to 5 people.