State of Emergency NYC Blizzard : Uber and Lyft Cap Prices

January 26, 2015 Updated: January 26, 2015

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declared a State of Emergency in anticipation of what has been dubbed #snowmageddon2015.

Uber and Lyft have said they will cap prices regardless of demand due to the state of emergency.

During a New England blizzard last year, a $415 dollar Uber ride was shared via instagram, and had the message “UBER charge, during a snowstorm (to drop one at Bar Mitzvah and one child at a sleepover.) #OMG #neverforget #neveragain #real,” attached to it.

Uber’s patent pending “surge pricing” raises rates based on supply of available drivers and rider demand. 

Uber and the State Attorney General of New York reached an agreement in July of 2014 that would limit excessive price-gouging during times of need.

“The office will be working with Uber to ensure last year’s price cap agreement is in full effect,” spokeswoman Elizabeth DeBold told USA Today.

Uber spokesman Matt Wing said in a statement that “dynamic pricing will be capped and all Uber proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross to support relief efforts,” according to the NY Post.

The Greater New York Taxi Association is offering 1,500 free yellow cab rides during the blizzard to the elderly and disabled who call 311.

“Over 1,500 cabs will participate in this program which will benefit first responders, as well as the elderly and disabled, we are committed 24-7 to ensuring safe and reliable transportation during this time of need for New Yorkers,” said Ronn Torossian, a spokesman for the Greater New York Association of New York.