Amelia Wade is a court reporter for the New Zealand Herald

Uber prices could double during bus strike

Uber is warning the fares could double in price during the strike. Photo / Dean Purcell
Uber is warning the fares could double in price during the strike. Photo / Dean Purcell

Uber is telling users to brace themselves for surge-pricing tomorrow morning as demand soars from commuters stranded by cancelled buses.

READ MORE: Bus strike: your questions answered.

But it is also encouraging Aucklanders to car share by offering half-price rides for anyone who splits a fare.

More than 70,000 commuters are going to be displaced by the 24-hour NZ Bus drivers' strike tomorrow which will see 5000 services cancelled.

Officials are warning Aucklanders to prepare for chaos and heavy congestion and are urging workers to try to find an alternative form of transport -- such as car sharing or car pooling -- to get to the office.


Uber has a special offer for tomorrow to "keep Auckland moving and get you where you need to go affordably" by offering discounted ride sharing.

Between 7am and 7pm Friday, Uber users sharing rides can save 50 per cent splitting costs up to $40.

However, the spokesman said it was likely the surge pricing algorithm could kick in if demand for drivers outweighs the number the app has on the road.

Prices could surge to almost twice as much as usual.

The spokesman said to ensure transparency for riders when surge is in effect, Uber notifies riders about the pricing directly within the app and asks them to confirm and accept increased fares before connecting them to a driver-partner. Alternatively, riders can opt for a notification when prices drop. Car share website City Hop has seen a big increase in the number of cars booked out on its overnight special tomorrow. Chief executive Victoria Carter said they still had a small number available but had noticed a lot more people opting to take a car because at $30 a night, it is cheaper than a taxi for some commuters.

Meanwhile, Auckland Transport is putting on extra buses and is using its entire 17-strong fleet of double-decker buses to try to ease the chaos caused by the strike.

It is warning that there will likely be heavy congestion on roads so to avoid driving, and to consider other options such as taking alternative buses where possible, a train or a ferry, working from home, walking, cycling, sharing rides or travelling at different times of the day.

And the NZ Transport Agency's Auckland highway manager, Brett Gliddon, is asking motorists to ditch their cars tomorrow to help ease the expected pressure on the motorway network.

"We'd like people to think hard about just how vital it is that they use the motorways to move around the city tomorrow. If you can, then leave your car at home and make use of the other great ways of getting around including trains, ferries, walking, biking or even work from home for the day."

Mr Gliddon said if someone gets in a car tomorrow, they have to expect that there will be delays.

The NZTA has extra staff on tomorrow and will be working with Auckland Transport to monitor the motorway and local road network to provide real-time traffic and travel information.


• After your ride starts, choose "Fare Split" from the menu at the bottom of your screen

• Add your fellow passenger to split the ride

• When prompted, those passengers will need to accept your Fare Split en route to your destination. If they don't have Uber, they'll be prompted to download the app.

• You're done.

- NZ Herald

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