Image via Shutterstock

It’s New Year’s Eve. Or, as many woozy rideshare passengers will come to know it as – Surge Price Armageddon.
Tonight, Uber will complete millions of rides around the world. And as a result of this demand, the cost per ride will skyrocket. But, given the number of high fare horror stories and media attention surrounding these spikes, if you’re still getting surprised by otherworldly New Year’s Eve surge costs – you’re doing it wrong.
Here are a few ways to “do it right” and avoid a monstrous Uber charge.
1A. The easy answer – stay in, walk, or ride the L, CTA, or bus. If you drive, don’t drink.
1. Know What Surge Is:
During times of peak demand – when there are not enough drivers on the system – Uber uses an algorithm that automatically increases fares in order to incentivize more drivers to come onto the platform. When surge pricing is in affect, riders are notified and asked to confirm and accept the higher fares. Also, be sure to run a Fare Estimate to make sure you’re not about to get slammed. (Read: no excuses).
2. Wait. Or Leave Early:
According to Uber, the times to avoid riding tonight are between 12.30 – 2.30AM; that will be the busiest two-hour span. The ridesharing app suggests that you “request your ride right when the ball drops.” If you don’t get out right away, just use the in-app feature that sends a notification when surge drops.
3. UberPOOL:
For lower fares, you can try using uberPOOL, the app’s new ride-splitting service, to save a little money on your ride. uberPOOL will pair you up with someone heading in the same direction, allowing you to split the fare.
4. Are you the Host?
If you’re hosting a New Year’s Eve party, you can purchase Uber rides for your guests in advance through UberEVENTS + MADD. This year, for every ride purchased through this campaign, Uber will donate $10 to Mothers Against Drunk Driving to support their important work to end drunk driving and aid victims and survivors.
5. Alternatives.

(Image via ShutterStock)

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