How Does Traffic Affect My Uber Fair?

How Traffic Affects your Uber Fare

Uber Fares & Traffic – An Explainer

Curious about how your Uber fare is affected by heavy traffic or congestion?

Uber Pricing & Traffic

Your Uber trip’s duration, and distance, can sometimes be severely affected by rush-hour traffic (or external forces, like road blockages, and severe weather).

Unfortunately, Uber does not adjust the price of a ride due to external factors, although sometimes they do offer refunds in the event of driver error.

Changes in Uber’s Pricing Structure

In the past, Uber calculate fares through a ‘time and distance rates + base fare‘ algorithm. This meant that riders could be (unpleasantly) surprised by unexpected sudden fluctuations in a ride’s price.

During the era of Uber’s traditional pricing system, Uber offered no fare adjustment for passengers (even in the event of heavy traffic, or unexpected events).

However, due to the recent introduction of Upfront Pricing in most Uber markets, passengers now have a much better sense of their overall Uber fare before they step in their Uber vehicle (regardless of heavy traffic, or any other external factors).

Upfront Pricing – How are Uber’s Upfront Fares Calcuated?

Upfront fares are calculated using a few factors:

  • estimated distance of a trip
  • estimated duration/time of the trip
  • local traffic conditions
  • how many riders are in a given area
  • how many drivers are using Uber in a given area, at a given time.

Riders are now shown actual fare estimates before they request their ride. Fares displayed at the beginning of an Uber trip reflect the actual price passengers will be paying for their trip.

What does this mean for my Uber fare?

Upfront Fares are calculated ‘dynamically’ — meaning that a variety of complex factors are taken into account. If  demand for Uber is particularly high (or if traffic is bad; or surge pricing is in effect, etc) your upfront price will always take these factors into account.

The good news is that — unlike in the past — Uber passengers will know about costs due to traffic, weather, high-demand (or other elements) before their ride begins — not after.

If I feel my Uber fare should be adjusted, what should I do?

Uber’s policy is that it rarely adjusts fares — however, if you feel you have been unfairly charged, you can submit a query here. Make sure to provide a full account of your trip, and why you think your fare should be adjusted.

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