Uber Spikes Prices 20 Percent Across DC

Steve Birr | Vice Reporter

Uber hiked minimum fare prices by 20 percent in Washington, D.C., after complaints from workers over driver compensation.

The company raised the minimum fare price by $1 for customers using the non-ride sharing service UberX, versus the UberPOOL service. For a driver that means the minimum payment for a ride rose from $5.35 to $6.35, which the company argues is a meaningful difference for the employee. The price change is part of broader efforts by Uber to become more driver friendly after mounting complaints over pay, reports The Washington Post.

In addition to D.C., Uber hiked the minimum fare in 24 cities across the country.

“For drivers, this small change can have a big impact over time if they are providing a lot of short trips,” an Uber spokesman told The Washington Post. “For passengers, the minimum is higher for these short trips, but this won’t likely have a major impact on folks that are using UberX as an alternate commuting option, given those trips tend to be a bit longer.”

The company says riders are unlikely to be affected by the price increase, noting most rides exceed the minimum price anyway. Uber is flooring the gas on more driver friendly policies in the midst of ongoing lawsuits over how they classify their workers. Uber recently added compensated coffee and bathroom breaks. (RELATED: Virginia Considers Subsidizing Uber For Metro Riders)

“We know that short rides can add up, and a seemingly small change like this one can make a difference for your earnings over time,” Uber said in a statement to employees. “Bit by bit, we’re using your input to make the Uber experience more rewarding and stress-free. It’s why you can now get paid instantly, play commercial-free music in your car and find the nearest gas station, all at the push of a button within the driver app.”

Uber is currently offering discounts for D.C. Metro riders dealing with closures and delays. The company promised in May they would invest roughly $10 million in the D.C. region as part of their efforts to capitalize off Metro repairs.

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