Must- Have Tips For Uber & Lyft Users: How to Avoid Uber and Lyft Surge Pricing

November 11
9:06 PM 2015

When the demand is high, Uber uses surge pricing, which charges extra for a ride to a user's destination. But it's experts say that the higher price can be easily avoided with the new  research to prove it.

According to Two Cents, the researchers at Northeastern University produced an algorithm Uber uses to decide on a surge pricing. The NPR made clear that they created 43 Uber accounts and wrote a script that logged into those accounts, pinged Uber's servers every 5 seconds, as well as recorded the information about Uber drivers in Manhattan and San Francisco.

They tested out their tracking method on a public database of New York taxis to check out how to extrapolate information about the widely held of cars in the fleet. They also studied the Uber cars' comings and goings, and eventually combined that research with Uber's in public tools and information to analyze how they linked to surge prices.

They found that most surge pricing lasts less than ten minutes, and, often times, it's less than five minutes. So with that, if users want to get around Uber's surge prices, it's as easy as waiting for a few minutes until they update prices, or even walking a few blocks to a less crowded area. 

And while Uber has claimed surge pricing provides incentive for Uber drivers to work, the study shows it's quite the opposite. "What happens during a surge is, it just kills demand. So the drivers actually drive away from the surge," one of the researchers toldProPublica.

Moreover, there are other pre-existing tips for avoiding price surges. During the holiday season with a field day for surge pricing, engineer and part-time Uber and Lyft driver Harry Campbell wrote about how to avoid the charges for his blog The Rideshare Guy. He first described that while Lyft caps its surge at 400%, Uber places no cap on surge pricing. He advised users to check Lyft prices in real time on WhatsTheFare, while they check out that one can estimate with Uber only by manually entering "surge."

Now that the ways on avoiding surge pricing are revealed, many passengers are claiming that the study certainly provides great tips to avoid the surge price on Uber and Lyft.  Meanwhile, users can allegedly cut their Uber or Lyft bill in half by taking advantage of their carpooling offers available in limited cities or wait for a few hours to avoid the surge pricing.

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