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Cost vs. Convenience: Uber’s Price Surge on New Year’s Eve Could Impact Late-Night Demand

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SACRAMENTO --

With all the New Year's Eve madness, often people are concerned with getting to and from their homes safely. The ride-sharing app Uber is a popular choice for many. However, due to a high volume of calls this New Year's Eve, getting a ride could cost you.

It's called a price surge, and as an Uber consumer you may have to decide if convenience is worth the cost.

As the midnight hour approaches, some people could find themselves with Uber sticker shock. Head of Communications for Uber Eva Behrend says the increase is not new.

"Pricing on any day is based on supply and demand, and when the demand outpaces the supply, the pricing may increase," said Behrend. "However, if it does, you may get a notification on your phone."

That notification is meant to alert customers of the increased fares as they log-in. But for some, price surge or not, you can't put a price on safety.

Debbie was out enjoying her New Year's Eve, she says Uber helps get her home safely and is more cost-effective than getting in trouble with the law.

"It's cheaper than a DUI," she said.

Brian was also out enjoying the holiday with his family.

"We don't like to drink and drive, it's very convenient," he said.

Uber says the more people need rides, the more the price will increase.

"We've seen that between the hours of 12:30 a.m. and 2 a.m. are the times that there is the most demand on New Year's Eve," said 

The company emphasizes the importance of planning ahead to ensure your night out goes smoothly.

Silvia Lomeli and Lori Riffle said they didn't mind the price surge because the overall convenience of the app makes it worth the extra money.

"Absolutely, just to come downtown and to find parking and pay for parking or valet. I mean, they dropped us off right at the curb. It's easy," said Lomeli.

Uber also recommends that users try using its "Fare Estimate" feature to find out what kind of price they could expect to pay for a ride home.