Let's Consider Uber's Emergency Price Capping Policy

Uber (the ride-sharing service) got in hot water in 2014 during the Sydney hostage crisis and shooting. Uber’s automated pricing algorithm increased prices for Ubers to 4x the normal fare in response to demand. This led to a massive media and social media backlash, calling Uber a “shameful disgrace” for profiting during this crisis.

Uber has responded to this by capping its prices at 2.9x during a declared emergency:

 
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Is this cap a good thing or a bad thing? Do you think it protects consumers from price-gouging, or artificially reduces the supply of Ubers on the road during high-demand periods? What are the underlying factors that make this a difficult problem to solve?

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Erik Fogg

US political and cultural dialogue is broken, and we intend to change that. We're starting by giving you Something to Consider.