Lyft is setting a cap on its Uber-like “surge pricing” to ensure that its rides are still affordable.
Lyft’s Prime Time Tips, which just recently launched in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Chicago in order to keep up with high demand, will be capped at 200%.
What that means is that the average $US10 trip would be no more than $US30 — three times the cost.
Compare that to Uber’s surge pricing, which isn’t capped and frequently goes above triple the base cost. Earlier this month in New York, some customers had to pay eight times more than usual during a snow storm.
Lyft is live in 20 markets, but its Prime Time Tips are only live in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Chicago. Meanwhile, Uber has surge pricing in effect in all of its cities, which include San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Chicago.
So if you’re celebrating the new year in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, or Chicago, your best (meaning cheapest) bet will likely be a Lyft.
Here’s the full email Lyft sent out to its customers in the above cities:
Thanks for an incredible year together. Tomorrow night, we’re celebrating the close of 2013 with what we expect to be the busiest night in Lyft history. Drivers are stocking up on party hats and playlists to give you a great night. If you have the chance, give your driver an extra-large fistbump to say thanks for being there for our community on this big night.
As recently mentioned, we’re now open 24/7 so you can catch a ride home all night! We also recently rolled out Prime Time Tips to incentivise more drivers on busy nights like NYE. Drivers appreciate your extra support for taking time away from their friends and families on this special occasion, but they told us they don’t want to overcharge passengers.
Therefore, we’re capping Prime Time Tips at 200% through the holiday, because anything more would be too much. And as always, every cent of Prime Time Tips goes directly to your driver (no fee for Lyft).
When we say all hands on deck, we mean it! Even our co-founder John Zimmer is driving with Lyft on NYE. Make sure to say hello if you hop in his ride. :)
Happy New Year!