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Uber reducing fares in Pittsburgh by 15 percent

Discussion in 'Pittsburgh' started by Dreamer, Jul 8, 2015.

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  1. Dreamer

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    Staff Member

    Jan 19, 2015
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    Despite a drop in summer months, the goal is to make today’s cuts permanent, not seasonal

    The two big ride-sharing companies operating in Pittsburgh have taken different approaches to boosting ridership as warmer weather has meant fewer riders. In June, Lyft temporarily raised its prices by about 15 percent, and on Tuesday, Uber announced it would cut its fares by 15 percent.

    Both companies are aiming for the same result.

    “In other cities where we’ve done this — such as New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C. — when we cut prices, demand increases,” said Uber spokesman Taylor Bennett. He added that the San Francisco-based company is prepared to make adjustments if the fare cuts in Pittsburgh don’t translate to more driver earnings as anticipated.

    Meanwhile, Lyft spokeswoman Paige Thelen said that company has not determined the end date for its temporary price increase and is evaluating it on a monthly basis.

    “This test is an effort to balance driver availability and passenger demand to keep drivers busy and make it easy for passengers to get a ride when they need one,” Ms. Thelen said.

    Some UberX drivers in Pittsburgh received an email Monday announcing the fare changes, described by the company as “an effort to create opportunities for our partners to earn more.” The company refers to its drivers as partners. All of them are independent contractors.

    Pittsburgh rates for Uber’s UberXL service, which uses larger vehicles, will remain unchanged, the company said.

    Pittsburgh is the only city where fares are being reduced today, but other cities along the East Coast experienced price cuts in the spring, Mr. Bennett said. While the ride-sharing company typically sees a drop-off in service during the summer months, the goal is to make the fare cuts permanent, not seasonal, he said.

    Under the guidelines emailed to drivers, the base price, or starting price, for every trip will now be $1.50; the per-mile rate drops to $1.20; and the per-minute rate will be 20 cents. The minimum fare will still be $5.

    According to Lyft’s website, its base charge in Pittsburgh is $1.70, its cost-per-mile is $1.30 and its cost-per-minute is 32 cents. The minimum fare in Pittsburgh is $4.

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