Uber Surge Pricing

I recently requested an Uber and whilst the App said there were 8 nearby drivers, it only offered Surge Pricing. I couldn’t find any information on uber.com to explain the business rule or algorithm for how surge pricing works except for this part I’ve highlighted in bold from their website:

Surge pricing is when fares temporarily increase to encourage more drivers to get on the road and head to areas of the city where demand for rides is high. Fares may surge when many riders are requesting pickup in an area of the city. Surge is designed to ensure you can request and receive a quick pickup anytime.

Surging fares may also encourage nearby riders to wait a few minutes or use another form of transportation instead of requesting an Uber. Once demand for rides returns to normal levels, surge ends.

So in the “micro moment or minute” I requested a ride, according to their explanation, there was also xx% increase in concurrent requests which would then kickstart surge pricing.

For whoever reads this, is that how you understand it to be?


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Who knows! It’s a closed system that I imagine is always changing and iterating. You might enjoy this podcast about Uber, from NPR.