Uber will cut its prices for the first time, pruning black car prices in San Francisco by about 10 percent, the company said today.
Uber’s mobile app allows riders to electronically hail taxis and schedule limo services and includes automatic payment processing. The app will lower its San Francisco base rate and keep the per-mile rate the same for travel in the city and in neighboring areas. The company expects the overall reduction will come to about 10 percent, bringing San Francisco costs more into line with those in other cities.
The new prices will take effect on Monday, January 21.
“Uber is all about providing service that’s exceptional but never exclusive,” the San Francisco-based company wrote in a blog post.
But Uber has faced criticism over its prices, particularly when it has resorted to what it calls surge pricing during peak times, leaving some riders with unexpectedly high fares.
It is also bringing its lower-priced UBERx service out of a closed beta that began July 4. The service features smaller, plainer cars than the black car service.
“UBERx was an experiment we started to see if we could provide hybrids and smaller sedans at a price point competitive with taxis,” San Francisco general manager Ilya Abyzov said in an email.
“It’s been hugely popular,” he said.
Taxi fares are set by the San Francisco Metropolitan Transit Authority, so Uber cannot tinker with them.
Uber will employ surge pricing during the presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C., where it recently launched taxi service after a regulatory battle.