August 12, 2022
How to Check Surge Pricing Levels on Uber

Not so long ago, Uber used to show the rate and the “bounce” multiplier before you started traveling. This turned out to be a pain point for people using the app – most travelers hate the surge pricing and many will. Avoid using the app If they saw a sign of growth. Many leaders have also opposed it.

But then, the company suspended surge pricing, and then later introduced ‘upfront fares’ to let customers know how much they were going to pay. Fares go up even when there is high demand, but how much this changes thanks to the new format – the increase multiplier – is not made clear to the customer.

It doesn’t matter on your regular commute – if you normally spend Rs. 100 and see the fare of Rs. 300, you’re probably not going to take that cab. But what if you’re traveling in an unfamiliar place or city? If you see the fare, is it justified or the result of some crazy boom? How should you know? It turns out that there is a very simple way by which you can find out. This is what you need to do:

  1. Open Google Maps and enter your destination.
  2. Tap on the rightmost option to drive a taxi.

Depending on the country you are in, you will see a list of taxi options – for example, Uber and Ola if you are in India – with the growth factor displayed. We recently tested it and found that it works. As you can see in the screenshot below, Uber showed a ride estimate of Rs. 192. Google Maps (above) showed an increase of 1.5x, with fares estimated between Rs. 200-Rs. 240. Upon arrival at the destination, receipts from Uber (below) showed a 1.4x increase – close to Google’s estimate.

It’s certainly not foolproof, but if you’re trying to see if the fare is fair, this tip can really help. Showing off bounce may be unpopular, but hiding it like this is actually anti-consumer, and hopefully, Uber will be more transparent about its pricing in the future.

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