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Uber ends surge pricing, rolls out upfront fare in the US and India

Uber will calculate upfront rates using expected time and distance of travel and local traffic.

By: Tech Desk |
Updated: June 24, 2016 12:28:35 pm
Uber, Uber surge pricing, Uber upfront rates, Uber rates, Uber fare in advance, cab hailing, Uberpool, Uber fares, Uber news, technology, technology news Uber however, said that the rates will still fluctuate when rates go up due to demand but users will now see the amount they are paying well in advance. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

Uber has done away with surge pricing and will present users in the US and some parts of India with ‘upfront fare’, the company said in a blogpost. Now, Uber riders will no longer have to deal with lightning bolt denoting surge pricing while booking a cab.

Uber will calculate upfront rates using expected time and distance of travel and local traffic. The rate will also depend on how many riders and nearby drivers are using Uber at that moment.

Uber however, said that the fares will still fluctuate when rates go up due to demand. But users will now see the amount they are paying well in advance. “There’s no complicated math and no surprises: passengers can just sit back and enjoy the ride,” Uber product managers Arundhati Singh and Dennis Zhao said in the blogpost.

“Knowing how much a ride will cost in advance is clearly something riders appreciate: today uberPOOL accounts for over 20 percent of all rides globally,” the company added. Uber says it wants more riders globally to benefit from the feature.

According to PTI, the upfront payment feature is available in six cities – New York City, Miami, San Diego, Philadelphia, Seattle and New Jersey. But it plans to roll out features for users globally over the next few months.

An Uber India spokesperson told PTI, “Uber has been testing upfront fares for a small segment of riders across five cities in India since the beginning of this month”. “These cities include New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai,” she added.

Uber rolled out upfront fare rates in 2014, when it launched uberPOOL. It is now making the feature available for across all of its services including uberGO and uberX. PTI says, in India 25 per cent of Uber’s rides in Delhi and Bengaluru are through uberPOOL.

“Riders needed to enter their destinations so we could match them with other people headed the same way.” Uber blogpost said. It added that this allowed Uber to calculate the fare in advance and show it to users before they take the ride.

With inputs from PTI

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