Uber Expects Busiest Night Ever

31 Dec 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »

Beyond the Uber surge: How to get around on New Year’s Eve.

NEW YORK (AP) — New Year’s Eve: the day to overpay for everything from that glass of flat Champagne to the impossibly-high heels you’ll wear just once, to, once again, that ride home from Uber. With the large volume of rides expected, Uber said in a blog post that it will use surge pricing to get “enough cars on the road” and ensure their customers “always have a reliable ride.” On New Year’s Eve Uber expects demand to increase between 8-10 p.m. as people head out for the evening, with the highest demand and fares between 12:30-2:30 a.m. On Monday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration held a Twitter chat to remind people about the importance of staying off the road if you’ve been drinking. Sometime after midnight, we’d start the dreaded trudge home, to wherever we were crashing, while trying to hail that rarest of creatures, the New Year’s cab in Manhattan.

Due to high demand, and because it can, Uber is bringing back surge pricing, a boon to its drivers but a bane to passengers. “When you have such an incredible demand, this encourages drivers to get out to meet that demand,” Uber spokesman Taylor Bennet told 1010 WINS’ Rebecca Granet. D.C. area residents have a host of options for getting around and getting home if they don’t want to drive or if they drink and shouldn’t be on the road. One year, we took somebody’s advice to hail cabs with a two-finger peace sign, which was supposed to proclaim our willingness to pay twice the metered rate. In addition to partying at home, taking public transportation or a cab, however, there are other options for revelers who, for whatever reason, think better of driving on New Year’s Eve.

A basic fare with Uber in London is normally 1.50 per mile or £20-£25 on average, according to their website, but with surge pricing this can increase up to £75 on average. Riders who use rival Lyft will also see a version of Uber’s price surge, called “Prime Time.” The feature is turned on when ride requests “greatly outnumber available drivers.” How much extra you’ll pay, Lyft says, depends on demand. Lyft will donate $1 for everyone who makes a “pledge” to get home safe by visiting Lyft.com/NYE. (TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries.

The SoberRide program is offering service in the District; Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland; and in Arlington, Fairfax, eastern Loudoun and Prince William counties in Virginia. From 8 p.m. on Wednesday until 3 a.m. on Thursday, the company is offering $10 rides in San Francisco, Seattle, Sacramento and San Diego, as long as the metered fare does not exceed $50. Residents can call the toll-free SoberRidephone number 800-200-TAXI and have their fare covered up to $30. (AT&T wireless users can dial #WRAP for the same service.) Sponsors include: AAA Mid-Atlantic, Anheuser-Busch, Diageo, District of Columbia Association of Beverage Alcohol Wholesalers, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, Giant Food, MillerCoors, Red Top Cab of Arlington, Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, Volkswagen Group of America and the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association. Among the cab companies participating: Alexandria Yellow Cab; Barwood; Fairfax Yellow Cab; Loudoun Yellow Cab; Northern Virginia Checker Cab; Red Top Cab; Silver Cab of Prince George’s County; Yellow Cab of D.C.; and Yellow Cab of Prince William County.

– Congressman Steve Scalise says 2002 speech to white supremacists was “mistake I regret.” – Harvard Law School violated law in response to sexual-assault reports, U.S. finds. With demand high, (Uber officials say as many as 2 million folks worldwide may use the service) chances are you’ll be paying far more than the normal rate.

Uber officials have been quick to get ahead of any possible criticism they might face by warning riders about “surge pricing” that kicks into effect when demand surges. The app-based service also won regulatory battles across the United States, including here in D.C., but it also faced criticism from many quarters including questions about how it uses its customers’ data. Reviewing the top Bloomberg News stories of 2014 is an experience that resembles a typical workday — a focus on important business and finance news, interrupted by the occasional “oh wow” surprise, often grim. We were all transfixed that day by the growing recognition the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet that crashed in Ukraine had been shot down by Russian-loyal rebels.

Months earlier, what may stand as the most confounding story of 2014 — the disappearance of another Malaysia Airlines jet, missing to this day — similarly grabbed our attention, producing the No. 6 most-read story of the year. Two other stories that drew us away from stock prices and bond yields were “Ebola Worries Have Parents Pull Children From School in Dallas” (No. 32), and “Sydney Gunman Identified as Cafe Siege Extends Into Second Day” (No. 36). We asked our Bloomberg colleagues to cite some of the stories that left a mark on them, and on the fields they cover, in the year that’s drawing to a close. Sarah Rabil, a team leader for telecommunications, media and technology, said she’ll remember “all the moves IBM was making to reach profit targets that it ultimately had to abandon — a huge concession for a company the size of Big Blue.” As it did in 2013, IBM is ending 2014 as the worst-performing stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Alex Barinka reports. The story “was the first to highlight how a local labor dispute between McDonald’s and its Brazilian workers created an opportunity for those in the know to order a special meal that didn’t appear on menus: the McDonald’s version of Brazil’s traditional dish of rice and beans,” he writes.

Nick Baker, leader for market structure, said stories on Chicago-based Jump Trading shed light on one of “the most important trading firms in the world” — a firm that, true to form, offered no help or comment.

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