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Uber Now Offering Free Rides After Surge Pricing During Sydney Siege

Surge pricing introduced in Sydney CBD while a hostage situation unfolds.

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Surge pricing is used by Uber "to get more cars on the road and ensure reliability during the busiest times."

Uber has tweeted out a statement regarding the increased fares:

We are all concerned with events in CBD. Fares have increased to encourage more drivers to come online & pick up passengers in the area.

Uber Sydney@Uber_SydneyFollow

We are all concerned with events in CBD. Fares have increased to encourage more drivers to come online & pick up passengers in the area.

2:35 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

BuzzFeed News has reached out to Uber for comment.

Uber has made the following statement:

We are all concerned with the events happening in Sydney.

UberBLACK and uberX provide additional options above and beyond the existing transport services.

Fares automatically increase when demand exceeds available supply, to encourage more drivers to come online or leave other suburbs to come pick up passengers in areas of high demand. We are keeping partners advised about road closures.

Uber will not charge a commission on any rides out of the CBD today with 100% of every fare picking up from CBD going to drivers getting people home safely.

We are following this process:

– Uber's pricing algorithms will be capped during disasters and relevant states of emergency.

– For each market, the state of emergency price will be set after excluding the 3 highest-priced, non-emergency days of the preceding 2 months.
"This policy intends to strike the careful balance between the goal of transportation availability with community expectations of affordability during disasters." Travis Kalanick, CEO

Uber has now issued a second statement:

We are all concerned with the events happening in Sydney.

Uber Sydney will be providing free rides out of the CBD to help Sydneysiders get home safely.

Our thoughts are with those affected and the NSW Police Force.

We are in the process of refunding rides. If you have been charged during these hours leaving the CBD please email supportsydney@uber.com.

Please note that surge pricing only remains in place to encourage more drivers to come online and pick up passengers from the area.

Updates will follow on Twitter – @Uber_Sydney

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