dear tony, did Uber do the right thing by capping Surge for today’s protests


people are deleting their uber apps for a variety of reasons.

today Uber said that they won’t have surges for people going to the airports to protest the Muslim Travel Ban. isn’t that a good thing?

Not Travis

Uber is hypersensitive about Surge and manipulates it – almost always – for the wrong reasons. This is no exception. Uber introduced Surge as being an incentive to Drivers to go places they weren’t at or go to events that are a royal pain in the ass.

Most people would say that driving to the airport on a normal day is a pain. Imagine driving there today when protesters are making things extremely slow and arduous?

If the Surge is capped at a low rate the person losing money on the deal isn’t Uber, it is the Driver. It’s the driver’s car, the driver’s time, the driver’s gas and insurance and headache – not Uber’s. Travis is enjoying a Sunday that will get him more “Booking Fees” than an average Sunday. He doesn’t care about Surge because he only gets 20-25% of that.

If the Surge is too low, drivers won’t leave their couch. The best way for Uber/Trump to fight these airport protests is to de-incentives Uber drivers from taking passengers to the crowded airports.

tony, I see your point, but it still seems like an equally viable explanation (to me) was that they were trying to make it easier for people to get there. Uber’s core value (I speculate) is not to help their drivers make money l, but to service their customers (and I apologize, knowing that you’re a driver, too, but their customers SHOULD be their focus). The screwing over of the employees not withstanding, might the corporate bigwigs not have been expecting a baseline of employee responsibility from their drivers and were instead trying to help out the customer?

It’s interesting how in this case the same action could literally be taken in exact opposite ways.

– not travis

I share your belief that Uber cares about the customer. So do we drivers. But again, Surge inspires drivers to get on the road. Which would a customer rather have: no uber cars available or uber cars available at the same price as cabs (which is typically what an uber at surge rates costs)?

Let’s say right now a driver takes someone from DTLA to LAX. What would inspire him to drive back to DTLA to pick up new passengers other than a generous surge? Nothing. Thus DTLA gets depleted of Uber cars, and the passengers there don’t get served. Surge helps replenish areas with high demand and fewer cars. To manipulate it, in my mind, does a disservice to all parties.

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