Uber to hide surge pricing with upfront fares

Say goodbye to the lightning bolt icon

Ride-hailing company Uber is testing a new version where it is easier to know how much the trip will cost, but more difficult to tell when ‘surge pricing’ is in effect.

The new version requires riders to enter a destination before requesting for a ride. Riders will then be presented with an ‘upfront fare’. The fare will be calculated using the ‘expected time and distance of the trip and local traffic, as well as how many riders and nearby drivers are using Uber at that moment’.

There will be no notificaion that surge pricing is effect, only a line of text indicating that there is ‘increased demand’ under the fare.

Surge pricing has long been hated by passengers and loved by drivers. With reports of fares going over $100 during MRT breakdowns, riders avoid requesting for rides during surge pricing while drivers flock to areas where it is in effect.

“No math and surprises” as Uber calls it, is perhaps the company’s attempt to shift focus away from the unpopular surge pricing feature. Hiding the surge notification could stop people being discouraged to request for rides. Said in its blog,  customers can now ‘sit back and enjoy the ride’