Uber will raise its prices tomorrow by 10 percent for the first time since 2017 to try to encourage drivers back to the app.
The taxi company will push the prices of ‘peak times’ for airport trips up by 25 percent, the drivers were told on Wednesday night.
This means that Londoners face higher costs for even travel outside peak periods because the minimum price in the capital will rise from £ 5 to £ 5.50, the Evening Standard reported.
And those traveling abroad via Heathrow or Gatwick will be hit by a sharp rise in transport costs, with a 15 per cent increase in peak periods on top of the overall 10 per cent increase.
Uber will push up prices for “peak hours” for airport travel up by 25 percent, drivers were told Wednesday night (file photo)
The base price, which is currently £ 2.50, will be set at £ 2.75, and the rates per. minute and per. miles will increase by 10 percent.
The last time the taxi app raised its base price was in 2017.
It happens after ‘thousands’ of drivers have left the ride-hailing app due to lack of custom during the pandemic.
A spokesman for Uber said: ‘We are making these changes to help provide a better riding experience by signing up for more drivers to meet the growing demand.
‘We know people trust Uber to book a safe trip around London and this small price increase will help reduce waiting times. As always, riders will receive a price estimate before booking their trip. ‘
The base price, which is currently £ 2.50, will be set at £ 2.75 and prices per minute and per mile will increase by 10 per cent (file image)
Many are now believed to work for takeaway delivery companies such as JustEat, Deliveroo and sister company UberEats.
The shortage has led to ‘surge pricing’ and long waiting times.
How do prices compare?
MailOnline Price checked the leading ride-hailing app to see how their prices were compared. The figures are based on a trip from our office in Kensington to Trafalgar Square and were all quoted around noon. 11.00 on 12 August.
Uber – £ 11.81 for a standard vehicle
Bolt – £ 5 (with 50% off offer)
FreeNow (formerly Hailo) – £ 14 – £ 18 for a black cab
While Uber says they are launching a recruitment campaign to increase the number, current drivers say many who traveled during last year’s lockdowns are not yet back.
This, say drivers, has led to an increase in the use of ‘surge charging’ – where the app automatically raises fares due to an increase in demand.
Meanwhile, drivers are said to be furious about changes in their pay deal with Uber, which means they now have to pay a larger portion of their fare to the San Francisco-based technology company.
Uber increased the service rate from 20 to 25 per cent for thousands of drivers after Supreme Court judges in the UK ruled that the company should give its workers benefits such as holiday pay.
To keep their home payment up, drivers start “multi-apping” – while using other ride-hailing services like Bolt and FreeNow – to pick up the highest fare.
But that means passengers waiting for an Uber regularly get driving accepted, only to have them canceled while the driver is on the road.
Some dissatisfied passengers say they have waited more than 10 minutes for a trip in London – where pick-up times used to be a matter of minutes.
On top of that, cabins continue to rage against the dreaded Low Traffic Neighborhood (LTNs) schemes, which make it a nightmare for drivers to reach customers.
Dissatisfied users, meanwhile, have promised to stop using Uber because of its long wait times and ‘crazy’ prices.
Uber, which refuses to raise prices, says it plans to sign up another 20,000 drivers across the UK to meet demand as more workers return to the office.
But one customer told MailOnline: ‘I use Uber quite a lot, but have now decided to use other apps. I realized that it takes forever to get a ride.
“I had to wait about 10 minutes once for a service, and I also got confirmed rides and thought I would be on my way out, just to get it canceled – and it happened more than once.”
Drivers have told MailOnline how the problem began at the start of the Covid pandemic when demand fell due to the Covid lockdown in the UK.
Uber driver Nader Awaad said ‘thousands’ subsequently left the ride-hailing app because many were unable to earn a living or demand financial support.
Others were forced to take out Covid support loans to get them over with during the pandemic.
Sir. Awaad, who is the elected chairman of United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD), said many of the drivers started working for delivery companies like sister company UberEats and rivals like JustEat and Deliveroo.
He told MailOnline: ‘I had to take out a £ 20,000 loan at the start of the pandemic.
‘I did not stop driving. I drove seven days a week to keep myself going.
‘Not everyone was able to deliver, my car is a Mercedes so it would not work for me. But that’s why we lost a lot of drivers. ‘
He says the situation has been exacerbated by an effective pay cut for thousands of Uber drivers.
Uber raised its service fee for many drivers following a UK Supreme Court ruling in February.
The ruling meant that Uber drivers are now classified as ‘workers’ rather than contractors and thus entitled to benefits such as holiday pay.
Uber later moved its longer-serving drivers from a 20 percent service rate – the reduction it takes from each fare – to a 25 percent rate.
Managers of the ride-hailing app say the move was to ‘standardize’ the charge. Uber said newer drivers already paid this higher rate before the court ruling.
But Mr Awaad says some trips for Uber drivers are now no longer worth taking, especially in the midst of rising fuel prices.
He says that drivers also do not get paid for their journey to the customer, which means that many drivers reject trips that are not in the immediate vicinity.
Frustrated Uber customers face higher prices and longer waiting times for pickup due to a perfect storm of driver shortages, high prices and so-called ‘multi-apping’
This, along with the increased service charge, he says, has resulted in some drivers starting to “multi-apping”.
Multi-apping, which is allowed by Uber, is when drivers have several ride-hailing apps opened at once.
For example, a driver may search for an Uber customer and one from rival ride-hailing app Bolt at the same time.
Sir. Awaad says this allows drivers to choose the best fare. He said: ‘I feel guilty about canceling a ride, but the drivers are just driving to maximize the price.
‘If Uber pays £ 15 for a trip and Bolt pays £ 25, then what are you going to do?
‘That’s why customers are waiting so long at the moment. It’s chaos. ‘
Sir. Awaad also said drivers often increase their income by driving during “periods of tension”.
Rise times are mainly peak periods for public transport, where prices are raised to reflect demand.
Unlike traditional peak periods, however, Uber hikes can happen late at night, such as pubs or club kick-out time, when there is an increase in demand for Ubers, but not as many drivers.
In an effort to keep their home payment up, drivers are beginning to “multi-app” – while using other ride-hailing services such as Bolt and FreeNow – to pick up the highest fare
Awaad said, however, that Uber is now due to lack of drivers ‘increases all the time’.
“It’s not fair to customers,” he added.
Uber users have noticed the changes, with many taking to Twitter to moan about the service.
A Twitter user wrote: ‘You need to allow an extra 20 minutes for your trip when using Uber.
‘You’ll have to wait so long for them to connect to a driver and it’s almost guaranteed you’ll be canceled. Fix it.’
Another wrote: ‘Wait 10 minutes, finally get a connection to a driver … ALWAYS get canceled at least once before connecting you for another 10 minutes away. Such a terrible service these days. ‘
Meanwhile, Twitter user Samia added: ‘Never use Uber again. Every time I try to book a ride home from central London, it gets canceled by at least five drivers.
‘I have a rating of 4.5. It ends up taking longer to order an Uber now than to get home to me. I took a black taxi home and it was cheaper including my gratuity! ‘
Others have taken to Twitter to complain about the ‘crazy prices’ they are being charged. One wrote: ‘I spent £ 13 on an Uber for Hockley for The Park Estate the other night … makes sense.’
Another claimed they were offered more than £ 70 for a trip from Croydon to east London. A Twitter user wrote: ‘Was in Hammersmith in west London the other day. Have to walk about a mile with the tube down.
‘Uber would charge £ 18 and make me wait 15 minutes for other passengers’ trips to end. Tributed to a black taxi from the station that was ready to go, it only cost me £ 15 with a tip. ‘
Union leaders have pointed the finger at Uber for the decline in service.
Charlie McNamara, branch coordinator at United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD), told MailOnline: ‘Employers often complain that they do not have enough employees while paying low wages. This is one of those cases. ‘
Why it’s become so difficult to get an Uber: Perfect storm of problems faced by customers wanting a ride
Lack of drivers
Uber has lost thousands of drivers since the start of the Covid pandemic, according to those working with the service. Many drivers are believed to have swapped taxi rides with takeaway deliveries after a huge drop in demand for cabs during lockdown. Uber says it wants to recruit 20,000 new drivers by the end of 2021.
Lack of drivers has led to a rise in rising prices, some say. The app automatically raises prices to match increased demand. With fewer Uber drivers nearby, the increase is more happening, drivers say.
Drivers using competing apps
Uber drivers are allowed to use rival ride-hailing apps at the same time. This allows them to pick and choose the best prices. But it also means drivers can cancel trips on the way to pick-up if they find a better fare, giving users a longer wait time.
Tours are not worth it for drivers
Because Uber does not pay its drivers to get to a customer, drivers say that short trips that take a long time to get to are not worth it. This means that if you are far away from a group of drivers and it is a short ride, it may not be economically viable for them to pick you up.
Low-traffic neighborhood schemes cause a nightmare
On top of that, Low Traffic Neighborhood schemes make it harder for taxi drivers to reach their customers and discourage them from accepting fares.