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Uber surge pricing aside, NYE cab tips from Uber co-founder, CEO

December 31, 2013|By Kristin Samuelson, @ksamredeye

We've all been there. Partying at a club or even a house party on New Year's Eve sounds like a good time until you think about the logistics of getting home...when you're drunk.

And yes, we've all heard about the controversy surrounding Uber's "surge pricing" on high-demand taxi nights such as New Year's Eve. (If you haven't, read up, folks because it's all your friends will be talking about tonight at 12:01 a.m.)


(Credit: Uber)

Lyft, an on-demand ride service similar to UberX and Sidecar, also announced Tuesday that it is switching to a set-prices payment model close to Uber's, according to Chicago Grid.

But let's put the grumbling about such price surges aside and face it: wouldn't it be nice to have some pro tips on hailing a cab tonight when you're freezing your dressed-too-nicely-to-actually-be-warm butt off while standing outside, watching full taxi after full taxi pass you by?

Uber co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick shares some tips in the video posted above. We broke down the most useful tips here:

1. "If it's before 8 p.m. on New Year's Eve, you're pretty good."

2. "From 8 p.m. to, let's say, 10 or 10:30 p.m., it's hot. ... It's like a typical Friday or Saturday night on Uber. There's going to be some surge, but generally not too terrible. ... The prices will be, you know, 50 percent higher or you might get a 2X multiple, but look, this is New Year's Eve."

3. "The ultra pro tip is between 10:30 p.m. and midnight, it's like crickets out there. Nobody's requesting, there (are) a ton of cars out there.... If you can wait ... if you're somewhere and it's like 9:15 p.m., wait until 10, ideally 10:30 p.m. and ... you're most likely going to get like normal pricing, no surge at all. ... And that will go until about 12:15 a.m."

4. "It's at 12:15 a.m. in cities around the world when the demand just way outstrips anything that supply can bring to the table. ... We are telling the drivers...the best time to be on the system is 12 a.m. to 3 a.m. (The drivers) know surge is there, that's why they're coming onto the system."

5. "From 12:30 a.m. to 3 a.m., it's the busiest time on Uber because it's the busiest time in the cities around the world after New Year's. So if you're at a party at 1 a.m. and you'd like to get home economically, wait until 3. If you absolutely need a ride between 1 and 3 a.m., Uber will be very reliable but it will be a pricey ride."

Here's a graph from Uber to explain these trends more visually:


Whatever you do to get home tonight, make sure to do it wisely and safely. We like having you as readers.

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