Taxi app Uber has attracted yet more criticism after pumping up prices during yesterday’s London tube strike.
The controversial company almost tripled the cost of journeys, with minimum fares costing £14.50, while London’s tube services were down.
While sat in traffic, customers were charged 43p per minute instead of the usual 15p per minute.
Uber has defended its ‘surge pricing’ system, saying that demand was “off the charts”, and that higher fees in times of heavy demand encourage more drivers to take on journeys.
“Drivers work on the Uber platform on a completely flexible basis, as much or as little as they want,” said a company spokesman.
“During times of peak demand – when demand massively outstrips supply – fares increase temporarily to incentivise more drivers to work on the platform. As soon as the demand drops or supply increases, the price comes back down.”
However, the move didn’t go down so well with others, in particular Steve McNamara, the head of the London Taxi Drivers Association.
“If [Uber] achieve their goal of market domination by forcing their competitors out of the market… today’s prices and experiences will become the norm,” he said.
Unfortunately for Uber, even its cheapest services have caused outrage.
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Earlier this month, the firm pulled UberPOP in France after Prime Minister Manual Valls said it gives “a deplorable image to visitors to our country.”