What Uber’s Upfront Surge Pricing Looks Like on the Driver App

Have you heard of Uber’s upfront surge pricing? It’s a newer form of surge pricing that Uber (and now Lyft too) are testing out in some markets. Upfront surge pricing is a fixed bonus amount that you earn for rides in a surge zone. That’s unlike normal surge pricing, which is a multiplier added to fares. With upfront surge pricing, you’ll receive the same surge bonus for all rides regardless of distance or time.

It’s a new, confusing, and controversial form of surge pricing that not all drivers have experienced yet, so I decided to feature a Youtube video that covers the subject. Kevin of The Apptrepreneur did a great video that demonstrates how upfront surge pricing looks for drivers inside the app.

Take a look at Kevin’s video, then read the transcript below to see all the points he covers.

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Hey, everyone. This is Kevin, The Apptreprener. I told you I would be back discussing #paydriversfare, and I meant it, so here we are. This is not the only video, I will have much higher quality videos. This is a podcast video.

But this image in the center is, of course, very, very important. And, I think most driver’s understand, at this point, what the up front pricing surge is. Thanks to my video, thanks to the Rideshare professor’s video. Thanks to Uber Man showing my video, and talking about it himself.

What does upfront surge pricing look like for Uber drivers?

Some people are still confused, particularly the drivers. Like, what does this look like on the map? And thanks to Rideshare America, who does not have a YouTube channel, but has a very active Twitter account that I have been getting a lot of very useful screenshots from, we now know.

This is the up front pricing surge. You might have noticed what the difference is. But, just in case you haven’t, see how it says plus $1.25. Plus $1.50. Plus $2.00. And Plus $1.75. Various different things. What you see here is that’s what the surge looks like.

Now, regardless what the multiplier is, regardless how many miles your passenger wants to go, if you get a ride and you are in the +$2.00 zone, you will get an additional $2.00. By the way, this also works in reverse. You see where it says Chasers right there, where there’s no surge? Let’s say you get a call, and that person who is calling you is in the $2.00 surge zone, you do not get a surge. Even though they are paying a surge, you don’t get one.

Now by the way, this could also, in theory, work in vice versa. If you are in the $2.00 surge zone, and you get a call at the Chasers, which is outside the surge zone, you will get a $2.00 surge. Even if that person is not paying a surge. In that respect, it seems like Uber would, in fact, be losing. But, I personally have no doubts that Uber will manipulate the trips. I bet you when this surge comes up, you will get a lot more people from the outside of the surge zone going into the surge zone.

Uber will likely come out ahead with this new surge pricing tactic

And what I’m going to find very fascinating is, will the people outside the surge zone notice this? Because I have driven Uber a few times, where I have been in the middle of a multiplier. Or a multiplier surge zone has been close, and someone calls me and it’s not a surge, but I look at their location, and I remember it was surging there, so I don’t accept it. And then, sure enough, when the request goes away where they were calling me, it was surging. Uber’s already been manipulating this with all the other drivers. Now they’re just going to manipulate it even more.

This is what it looks like. This is what it looks like, and it’s just sad. And as I’ve shown in my other video, and with a few future videos, I’ve gotten a lot of screen shots of some pay differences, and they’re pretty bad. This is what it looks like.

And as you can see, it says, “Earn extra on your next trip by driving to the surge area, remaining online, and accepting your next request.” Keep in mind, you have to be in the surge zone now to get the surge. You can’t be outside of it, and get a ride in the surge zone. You won’t get a surge. So, you have to go there.

Can you turn off the app, drive into a surge zone, then turn the app back on and still be eligible for upfront surge? It’s not clear

Does that mean if you turn the app off, and go into the surge zone and then turn it back on, do you not get the surge? Does Uber system pick it up, and then you don’t get one anyway? I wonder. I wonder what that means. Hopefully we’ll get some clarification for that.

In the meantime, I still recommend not driving for the time being. I recommend letting Uber know why you won’t be driving. If you are driving, I strongly recommend you let the passengers know about #paydriversfare. And the best way to do that is to simply ask them what they’re fare is, and ask to compare notes. And show them what the difference is.

And keep an eye out for other videos today. I do have a plan. Or, at least, I’ve got some ideas, I should say. I’m not sure if anything I say is going to work, but we can always try. But, I will make those videos, and it’ll be a multiple step process. Like, it’s not just one thing we can do to get Uber to change, it has to be multiple things. And we will get to that later.

In the meantime, if this comes to your area, I am very, very sorry. You guys are so royally boned. In the meantime, if you enjoy this video, like and share it. Share this because this is very important. You need to get it out to the drivers. You have to share it with people who you know drive for Uber, and might not be aware of what’s going on. Share them the other videos too, and let them know what is going on.

Uber’s in a very bad position right now, and the last thing they want is for drivers and the public to catch on that they are screwing everyone, after they’ve just killed a woman (with a self-driving car). So, please, share this video and others like it. I will see you guys later!

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