Honolulu Limits Surge Pricing for Uber and Lyft

Jun 7, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Officials in Honolulu passed legislation on Wednesday that would put a cap on the amount ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft can charge during so-called “surge pricing,” or high-demand periods with increased prices.

The lawmakers say this pricing limitation is the first of its kind in the US.

The legislation would not allow the ride-sharing startups to charge surge prices that are higher than the maximum fare set by the city. Within that limit, the companies will still be able to charge surge pricing. The measure now goes to the desk of Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell to sign into law.

The idea behind the surge pricing model is to help manage the demand for rides with the supply of drivers, the companies say. “When demand for rides is greater than the number of drivers on the road, passengers may pay an extra percentage on top of the base ride amount,” Lyft explained to the AP.  The additional price percentage is added to the ride total and is calculated before the addition of other fees, Lyft says.

Honolulu lawmakers called the practice “predatory pricing” and said the measure is to help protect the city’s passengers against an “unreasonable price” for a ride.

Uber said in a statement after the vote that the legislation would limit customers’ choices and could threaten the availability of Ubers on the island of Oahu.

Critics of the measure also said that ride-sharing passengers have an opportunity to review the surge prices before accepting the ride.

It’s not the first time that Uber has been under scrutiny for its surge pricing methods. In May, the state of Massachusetts put Uber’s operational license under review after the company charged customers surge pricing during a state of emergency declared for a nor’easter in the state earlier in 2018.

Featured image by @adamkuylenstierna via Twenty20.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.