Uber Is Testing Cheaper Fares For Passengers Who Wait Longer
Uber is testing a new pricing feature among some of its employees that allows passengers get a cheaper fare if they're willing to wait a little longer for their ride to arrive.
An Uber employee in Berkeley, California, tweeted a (since deleted) screenshot that showed the test feature's two options. “Prices are lower at 17:00,” the app's screen read in the tweet. It also showed an option to "request now," which was 4:56pm for a total fare of $10.18 and an option to "request at 17:00," for a slightly cheaper fare of $8.15.
The new option to wait a little longer for a cheaper fare is currently being tested only among Uber employees based in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Uber told Quartz.
Uber's dynamic pricing model has grown more opaque over the years, especially since it stopped alerting passengers of price surges in 2016, opting instead to give passengers an "upfront" fare quote. The ride-sharing company's fares are calculated minute-to-minute based on several variables like traffic conditions, the availability of drivers and demand from passengers.
Uber has faced scrutiny recently due to its obfuscated pricing models — especially where its surge fares are concerned. 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 earlier in 2018. And in June, lawmakers in Honolulu approved legislation that would put a cap on the amount ride-sharing companies can charge for surge-price fares.