During the environmental alert issued by Mexico City government weeks ago, many Mexico City residents found themselves barred from driving their cars due to the government’s restrictions. Certain license plates are banned from taking to the streets on certain days, and older, emissions-coughing cars are often asked to stay home. Public transportation was free, but many opted to use Uber during the bad pollution days.
So many, in fact, that the rideshare company’s surge pricing policy kicked into gear.
People were not, by and large, very happy. They took to social media to air their grievances:
Andar en Uber el día que no circulas te sale igual que la multa 💸💸💸
— Ileana Rodriguez (@reclu) April 6, 2016
Translation: Going by Uber on the day you can’t drive is the same as the fine 💸💸💸
El Hoy no circula mejor conocido como la Navidad de @Uber_MEX
$1,700 de Desierto de los Leones a la Condesa pic.twitter.com/Uex0ZBSyxD
— hombregratis (@hombregratis) April 6, 2016
Translation: The “No Driving Day” better known as Christmas for Uber Mexico (Attaches sales receipt of ride totaling 1,700 pesos ($96 US))
Responding to complaints over the high rates, Luis de Uriarte, director of communication for Uber Mexico, said that he understood his customers’ annoyance. But, he said, surge pricing “is the best way we have to guarantee service to our users.”
“It’s a question of supply and demand,” de Uriarte said during an interview with Ciro Gómez Leyva of nighttime television show Radio Fórmula. “During the last contingency we put a cap on surge pricing at 1.5x, but 30 thousand people couldn’t find an Uber.”
“We are very conscious of striving to give the best service,” he continued, rather implausibly finishing with a plug. “We invite you to try Uber Pool.”