Uber discusses 'surge-pricing' for New Year's Eve


ORLANDO, Fla. – Uber held a conference call Monday to detail its "surge-pricing" on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

According to Uber, when demand for rides is high, like after big events, the prices go up to encourage more drivers to go online, which they call their "dynamic pricing."

"When demand for rides exceed the amount of drivers on the road, like after a big event, prices go up to encourage more drivers to go online," an Uber spokesperson said.

Uber says as soon as more drivers are available, prices go down.

Workers with the ride-sharing app say they always let the rider know what the price will be.

The company said there are three steps in place to make sure riders are aware of the higher cost before they take the ride.

"The surge amount is prominently displayed. And when it's more than double, they must type the amount themselves to confirm," Uber said.

Uber encourages riders to use a feature on the app that gives you an estimate of the cost of your ride before you take it.

Its surge pricing -- which the company is seeking to patent -- has been heavily criticized. Most recently, it caught flak for inflating prices during the Sydney hostage crisis. (It later refunded rides and issued a blog post apology to explain its algorithm, which operates automatically.)

Uber said it is counting on Wednesday night to be their busiest night in history.