Uber’s controversial price hikes, which have led the US tech giant to refund customers and apologizing in the aftermath of the 2014 Lindt Cafe siegewill be capped in times of crisis under a deal with the NSW government.
The agreement is part of the Transport Management Centre’s incident response process to address unplanned public transport disruptions.
NSW transport minister Jo Haylen said Uber has agreed to limit price increases during transport disruptions in Sydney, such as last week’s warehouse fire, which shut down Randwick light rail, until alternative public transport options become available and passenger demand eases.
The new process was in place for the Chalmers Street fire and Haylen said Uber acted immediately, monitored and contained spike prices and played a constructive role in providing transport services.
“On March 8 this year, the Sydney Trains network went down and ground to a halt, and passengers suffered from a lack of coordination between trains and point-to-point operations. I knew we had to take action to fix this,” she said.
“Passengers deserve transparency about the reasons behind the spike and passengers deserve real choices about how they travel.
“There will be some price increases to incentivize drivers who decide to drive in the affected areas. However, it will be limited so that passengers are not faced with exorbitant fares.”
This deal means that Uber will send instant notifications and in-app messages to drivers if something goes wrong on public transport.
Uber now has 24/7 monitoring of public transportation operations and processes to mitigate surges when major or safety incidents occur.
Quotes Attributable to Uber General Manager ANZ general manager Dom Taylor said the rideshare app is now a central part of the city’s transportation system.
“We feel a deep responsibility to be a collaborative and constructive part of the solution when major disruptions arise,” he said.
“Formalizing this relationship with Transport NSW marks an important milestone that will benefit the people of NSW.”