Regular Uber customers likely know about how much their rides costs, so if you suddenly see a cheaper rate pop up on your phone for the UberX service, it’s not just that you look really nice that day or have a fairy cabmother. I mean, you might, but in reality Uber is lowering rates in some areas to get more customers.
The winter months can be a slow time, which is why Uber is lowering prices for the cheaper UberX service by 2% to 30% in certain areas of the country for a trial period, explains the Wall Street Journal.
The UberX service is different in that it uses amateur drivers in regular cars, while Uber involves a black car and professional driver.
In both cases, drivers are self-employed or work for independent limo services, and pay about 20% of the take to Uber for the fares they get from the app. There’s a base fee like a taxi, as well as varying rates based on time and mileage. It’s different in every city.
It’s important to note that these lower rates are likely not here to stay, so enjoy them while they last. THe company told San Francisco drivers, for example, that it expects to “raise the rates back after the promotion.” That, despite the fact that it told customers at the same time that the new price change will be in effect until further notice.
If you’re lucky, Uber’s chief executive Travis Kalanick said the lower fares might become permanent in some cities.
Those lower prices will be coming out of Uber’s pocket in some places, but in others it means the drivers won’t be paid as much.
In a few cities, the lower prices are coming out of Uber’s pocket. Elsewhere, they will mean lower pay for drivers.
“We get more trips per hour in all the cases we have [lowered fares] so far, and the increase in more trips per hour has turned into more income for the driver,” Kalanick says.
Here are the 16 ares where UberX will cost less:
Orange County, Calif.
Taxi App Uber Cuts Rates in Some Cities [Wall Street Journal]