The Northeast is bracing itself for a major snow storm early this week, with up to two feet of snow expected to blanket the area from Boston to New York City. New York governor Andrew Cuomo has warned thatNew York City’s buses and subways could stop runningeven before Monday’s evening rush hour.
Uber, which has come under fire for its surge pricing feature, says it plans to cap surge pricing during the storm.
“Dynamic pricing will be capped and all Uber proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross to support relief efforts,” Uber said in an statement Monday to Businessweek.
Uber’s surge pricing kicks in when there’s a high demand for Uber vehicles in a particular area. During times of high demand — on weekend nights, on holidays, or during bad weather — Uber enacts surge pricing, which charges a multiplier on every fare during busy times. Uber says that by raising its prices, it encourages its supply — drivers — to get out on the road to keep up with increased demand.
Last year, the New York attorney general’s office came to an agreement with Uber, which established a cap on Uber’s surge pricing during states of emergency. Uber has received criticism for its surge pricing during weather-related emergencies, including Superstorm Sandy in 2012. The attorney general’s office says it plans to monitor Uber during the storm to ensure surge pricing stays capped.
“Provided there is an abnormal disruption in the market during the expected storm, the Attorney General’s Office will be monitoring all providers of essential services, including transportation, for price gouging. In addition, the office will be working with Uber to ensure last year’s price cap agreement is in full effect,” Elizabeth DeBold, the New York Attorney General’s Deputy Press Secretary told Business Insider.