The ridehailing company Uber has announced a subscription model which is designed to allow users to better budget for their journeys by protecting them from surge pricing.
Users of the scheme, initially available in five American cities, pay a monthly price, starting at $14.99 which “takes the guesswork” out of ride prices. Surge pricing is used by Uber when demand is greater than supply – it has the effect of encouraging more drivers out onto the network to carry passengers and also to reduce the demand by encouraging people who do not need to travel straight away to wait for their journey to get cheaper.
However, Dan Bilen, Product Manager at Uber, blogged, “One thing we hear a lot from riders is that changes in price—however small—can make it tough to plan their day with Uber. The daily commute is a classic example, and it goes something like this: you pay one low price for the ride to work, only to find the ride back home is a different story. You’re frustrated, and from that moment on you might think twice about leaving the car at home.”
Bilen says Uber wants to become a reliable alternative to driving yourself – an affordable option people can use for their everyday transport needs. “Ride Pass [is] a new way for riders to lock in consistent, low prices on any ride they take, anywhere in a city, anytime of day for a small monthly fee,” he writes. “Daily commute or night on the town, traffic or open roads: Ride Pass is designed to take the guesswork out of riding so you can confidently plan your day with Uber without any unwelcome surprises.”
The initial five cities are Los Angeles, Austin, Denver, Miami, and Orlando.