Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Business
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

NY attorney general reaches deal with car service Uber to limit rider prices in emergencies

ALBANY, N.Y. - The car service Uber has agreed to limit prices during emergencies, natural disasters or other unusual market disruptions consistent with New York's law against price gouging, the company and state attorney general said Tuesday.

Uber, which uses a mobile application to connect riders with vehicles for hire, has its rates rise and fall with demand, but it has been criticized for "surge pricing" that's sometimes exponentially higher than base fares. Prices usually increase weekdays during rush hour in New York City, on Saturday nights, special occasions like New Year's Eve and during bad weather.

Under the agreement signed Tuesday, Uber will set a cap during "abnormal disruptions of the market," limited to the range of prices charged in the preceding 60 days and excluding the three highest prices.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the agreement between his office and Uber Technologies Inc. and Uber NYC will apply to UberX, Uber Black and Uber SUV statewide.

"This agreement represents the thoughtful application of long-established law to new technology," Schneiderman said. "It provides consumers with critical protections to which they are entitled under the law, and it provides Uber with clarity from government about how the law will be applied to its innovative pricing model."

Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick said the policy "intends to strike the careful balance between the goal of transportation availability with community expectations of affordability during disasters."

The San Francisco-based company is expected to apply the same cap policy for its services nationally.

On Monday, Uber said it is temporarily cutting New York City prices in a bid to compete with taxis.

The New York law against price gouging, passed almost 36 years ago in response to escalating heating oil prices, defines abnormal market disruptions as "any change in the market, whether actual or imminently threatened, resulting from stress of weather, convulsion of nature, failure or shortage of electric power or other source of energy, strike, civil disorder, war, military action, national or local emergency, or other cause ... which results in the declaration of a state of emergency by the governor."

During those times, businesses are prohibited from charging "unconscionably excessive prices" for essential consumer goods or services.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Sudden Surge: Flood of 2014
Opportunity Magazine — The Bakken
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media

Canadian Mortgage Rates