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Uber warns users of New Year's Eve surge pricing

Shortly after the ball drops and champagne corks are popped, the price for a ride with the car service will skyrocket. The company now explains to users how to avoid these fare hikes.


Looking to avoid backlash this New Year's Eve, Uber is broadcasting loud and clear that surge pricing will be in effect the night the ball drops. This means riders using the car service during certain hours of the night will have to pay premium fares.

"This New Year's Eve we'll have a record number of cars on the road ready to get you where you want to go," Uber writes in a blog post. "But, that doesn't change one simple fact: on NYE, everyone wants to move around the city at exactly the same time! You can avoid the peaks of surge pricing with good timing when you travel."

Uber's pricing throughout the night will change. Before 8 p.m., prices will be normal; after 8 p.m., the costs will gradually go up. The most expensive time of the night will be between 12:15 a.m. and 2:30 a.m., and by 3 a.m. the prices will drop back to normal.

Uber said it will notify all riders when surge pricing is in effect. When surge pricing becomes twice as much or higher, riders will be required to confirm they're aware of the steeper prices.

Within the Uber app, riders can use a "fare quote" feature to estimate the cost of their journey before hailing the car. The company is also letting users split fares with friends.

Uber has been offering its service on New Year's Eve for the last three years. In years past, its surge pricing has surprised some users and prompted complaints. People criticized the service for raising prices as much as five times the normal rate. For example, one rider's typical mile-long $15 ride cost $75 on New Year's Eve in 2012.

By spreading the news about surge pricing more widely this year, it appears the company hopes to not shock as many customers with its pricey rides.

Uber's surge pricing chart for New Years Eve. Uber