Lyft Surge Prices Above 500% After the Super Bowl
It turns out that Lyft and ridesharing competitor Uber don't actually care about you.
I'm a little bitter this morning. For one, I'm a Steelers fan, and last night I joined the rest of the country in watching the Patriots score 31 unanswered points on their way to victory in Super Bowl LI. That burned. But what fried me even more was that when I tried to make my way home after the game, Lyft was surging at 400%.
I am new to Lyft. After many years of Uber loyalty, I was swept up in the #DeleteUber movement, which helped lift Lyft's U.S. download numbers higher than Uber's for the first time ever. I called a Lyft to take me and my girlfriend to a Super Bowl party because we were carrying bags containing mostly booze. It cost me $10 to get there. No sweat. But when the game had ended and I sorely needed my bed, Lyft estimated the same trip would now cost $40.
Surge pricing is incredibly lucrative for ridesharing companies like Lyft and Uber. When demand goes up, so do the prices. Capitalism! But both Uber and Lyft campaigned against drunk driving this past holiday season, urging people to utilize their services instead. Specifically for the Super Bowl, Uber teamed up with Tostitos and Mothers Against Drunk Driving for the limited-edition “Party Safe” bag. A DUI will still cost you much more than an Uber or Lyft ride (not to mention, drunk driving: duh), but any good will meant these campaigns were trying to gin up feel hollow when you're staring at a 400% surge.
I didn't check on Uber's postgame pricing because of the whole #DeleteUber thing, but it seems that people across the country were getting gouged by both rideshare companies after the game had ended.