After receiving an onslaught of negative press for surging prices during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, ride-hailing startup Uber has said that it will cap surge prices during Winter Storm Juno – the blizzard that is currently pummeling the northeast and which Manhattan mayor Bill de Blasio said “could be the biggest snowstorm in the history of this city.”
Following fallout from the Sandy surge, Uber reached an agreement with New York’s attorney general and announced a national policy to cap surge pricing during emergencies last July. The company wrote in a blog post that, “for each market, the state of emergency price will be set after excluding the 3 highest-priced, non-emergency days of the preceding 2 months.”
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At the time, the company also announced its partnership with the American Red Cross, whereby 20 percent of all elevated fares would be donated to disaster relief efforts. However, an Uber spokesperson told Entrepreneur that today “all Uber proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross to support relief efforts.“
While Uber has come under fire for surging prices in the past – including during a hostage crisis in Sydney last December – the company has argued that it increases fares in order to incentivize more drivers to come onto the platform during times of peak demand.
“We urge everyone to use extra caution when out on the roadways today,” the spokesperson said.