4/8/16 The Washington Post
Uber surge prices soared as Mexico City doubled down on its car ban Monday in an attempt to quell rising pollution rates. Uber prices rose as high as 10 times the typical price, in reaction to restrictions that require that 20 to 40 percent of the area’s cars be off the roads during high pollution days. The surge in pricing is also compounded by commuters who chose ride-sharing services in lieu of walking or waiting for the bus to avoid the intense smog.
Many Mexico City residents have taken to Twitter to voice their concerns, according to Quartz, which picked up the story from Spanish news source Plano Informativo. One such Twitter complaint came from soccer star Alex Diaz Liceaga, who said he paid 1,400 pesos, roughly equivalent to $79, for a single ride.
Some demanded that the company apply a pricing cap for bad pollution days, but Uber responded in a statement that the surge-pricing mechanism ensures that the supply of drivers grows to meet demand. It argued that it was responsible for about 100,000 people getting more rides during a high pollution period last month. It also encouraged people to use UberPool, the company’s carpool service, for cheaper rides and reaching a larger population of customers.