Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. on Tuesday said they would suspend surge pricing in New York City after a mass shooting on a Brooklyn subway.
In response to complaints on social media that the ride-hailing giants were raising prices amid the chaos after at least 10 people were shot and multiple others were injured, the companies said they would take action.
“Following the incident, Uber disabled surge pricing in the vicinity and capped pricing citywide,” said Josh Gold, an Uber
spokesman, on Tuesday afternoon. “If anyone on our platform experienced unintended charges during this emergency, we will work to get them refunded.”
Answering multiple Twitter complaints accusing the company of price gouging, Lyft
tweeted: “We’ve currently suspended prime-time pricing for riders in the area & are working to adjust fares for certain riders who paid prime-time prices when the situation first unfolded.”
Lyft has not returned a request for further comment.
Both companies have been known to backtrack from applying surge pricing after other high-profile incidents and disasters. For example, Uber got backlash over its price hikes for rides after a hostage situation in Sydney in 2014, and an explosion in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood in 2016.
Uber also was targeted with the #DeleteUber campaign in 2017 after its decision not to employ surge pricing after taxi drivers stopped picking up passengers from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York to protest then-President Donald Trump’s executive order banning refugees and immigrants from Muslim-majority countries. Critics interpreted Uber’s action to mean that it intended to profit from the cab drivers’ protest.