Uber has revealed why it has increased its fare prices in Birmingham over the last few months - with some residents expressing their frustration at the hike.
After noticing the price rise on the minicab transport app, some residents took to social media to voice their frustration.
With some Uber users saying they had cancelled bookings when they discovered that regular journeys they had been making had increased in price.
BirminghamWorld contacted Uber to ask about the fare increases in the city. The tech transport giant expolained that they had increased fares.
They said that off-peak prices in Birmingham increased by 15%, in September and peak prices increased by an additional 10%.
What have locals said about the increase?
Posting on social media, one person wrote: “I tried to take an Uber on a Friday night a couple of weeks ago, early in the evening, not normally a busy time.
“It told me £26 for a 20 minute ride to Handsworth, so I opted out.
“This morning early-ish, my girlfriend wanted a lift to New Street to catch a train, and got quoted £22 by Uber - this feels like three times what it used to be - for that price Uber is done with.”
Another said: It’s definitely got a lot more expensive recently. Also I’ve found weird times where they shoot up massively in price.
“For example last Friday at about half three it was going to cost me £16 to go five minutes (not even city centre). It’s also gotten a lot more expensive after nights out (obviously going to be expensive).”
But why have the prices increased?
Some residents speculated on social media that clean air zone charges, higher fuel costs, and roadworks in the city were some of the reasons behind the increase.
Another claimed that many taxi drivers left the trade during the pandemic to work for home delivery companies, and that Uber are having to match what drivers can earn elsewhere.
But what has the company itself said about the reasons behind the rise in fare prices?
In a statement issued to BirminghamWorld, a spokesman for Uber said the price hike is due to an increase in demand since the pandemic and to help to reduce waiting times.
The company has a similar number of drivers who are choosing to use the Uber app compared to before the pandemic, but the huge spike in demand of almost 20% since the end of lockdown means that the company needs 20,000 more drivers to help get service levels back to normal.
The Uber spokesman, said: “We’re making these changes across the country to help provide a better rider experience, by helping to sign up more drivers to meet the growing demand. We know people rely on Uber to book a safe trip and these small fare increases will help reduce wait times. As always riders will get a fare estimate before booking their journey.”
“The Uber app uses dynamic pricing to make sure that people can get a car when they need it. When a large number of people in a specific area are booking a trip at the same time and there aren’t enough available cars, fares automatically rise to encourage more drivers to go to the busy area.”
The company also confirmed that there will be no price rises on Christmas and New Year in Birmingham, however riders may experience surge pricing due to high demand.
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