Uber Inc Technologies (NYSE: UBER) and LYFT Inc (NASDAQ: LYFT) have been called out for hiking fare prices after a tragic incident on April 12, 2022. The incident in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, occurred when a man wearing a construction vest and face mask opened fire in a subway car. The shooting resulted in five critically injured passengers and ten others shot.
After the shooting, fare prices went up because of increasing demand, with some people having to pay $70 to get out of Sunset Park.
Uber and Lyft rectify the error
The price changes were met with outrage from the rest of the country. People felt that the companies were making it difficult for others to leave the city safely when they were afraid. Fortunately, Uber and Lyft were quick to rectify this.
According to Josh Gold, an Uber spokesperson, the company has shared its concerns for the people affected by the shooting. Gold adds that Uber stopped the price surge and capped it throughout the city.
Both Uber and Lyft have stated that they will cap the price surge. However, they haven’t mentioned how long this could last. Fortunately, Uber has assured customers that it would refund people affected by the unintended price increases. Lyft has also said that the passengers affected by price increases will get adjusted rates.
The price surge is not entirely a decision the companies made. Instead, it is a move by their automated systems, which could never understand that the increasing demand is due to a tragic event.
Other price surges that have occurred after a tragic event
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time such an error has occurred. For example, when a bomb went off on Manhattan Chelsea in 2016, rates increased. This was also a challenge after a 2014 hostage crisis in Sydney, Australia. There are countless other incidents of people having to spend more on fares after crises.
Police immediately identified the shooter at Sunset Park as Frank R James. While he was a person of interest at the time, the police were careful not to pin the crime on him directly. They instead referred to him as a suspect and put out a $50,000 reward for any valid information on the crime.
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