Uber caps price hike during blizzard

January 26, 2015, 7:55 PM UTC
Photograph by Getty Images

Ride hailing services Uber and Lyft have said it will cap price increases for passengers during the blizzard bearing down on the Northeast.

Uber’s cap varies by city. In New York, the ceiling is 2.8 times the normal price, while in Boston, it is 2.9 times. Meanwhile, Lyft said it would cap prices across the board at double the usual.

In a statement, an Uber spokeswoman said: “Uber is committed to getting riders safely and reliably to where they need to be, and we urge everyone to use extra caution when out on the roadways today. Per our national policy, during states of emergencies, dynamic pricing will be capped and all Uber proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross to support relief efforts.”

Governors of Northeastern states including New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts have already declared states of emergencies as the huge storm approaches.

Uber set prices to match the highest it has charged in individual cities over the past two months, excluding the three priciest non-emergency days.

In the past, San Francisco-based Uber has been accused of price-gouging during emergency situations including Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and briefly during the Sydney hostage crisis last month. But following intense criticism, the company has implemented a more formal system to keep prices from reaching the stratosphere.

Lyft has faced far less criticism in the past.

(This story was updated with additional information)