Uber has a feature that allows riders to schedule a ride ahead of time, a way to ensure there’s a car available and at your location at the time you need to leave. While convenient, the scheduled rides left riders unsure of how much they’d pay if the ride was schedule more than an hour from the current time. Uber just changed that.
Whether Uber already planned this feature or introduced it to match Lyft’s upfront pricing is unclear. Now when you schedule a ride on Uber that will happen more than an hour from the time you arrange it, you’ll see the price upfront. This removes the uncertainty surrounding how much you may pay and essentially locks the rate in, helping avoid a nasty surprise from unexpected surge pricing.
Surge pricing is an increase in how much an Uber ride costs based on increased demand in the region where you’re traveling. Surge pricing can pop up as a big surprise and, depending on how high it is, greatly increase how much you’ll pay for a ride. Scheduling a ride relatively far into the future meant taking the risk of paying a surge rate.
Users have been asking for upfront pricing since scheduled rides became a thing, and Uber has confirmed that you’ll get that upfront rate as of today. You’ll see the locked in rate after scheduling the ride; it appears on the confirmation screen, as well as the ride listed under “Your Trips” in the app menu.
From there, you’ll see the arranged ride, the time of the pickup, the rate, plus the option to cancel the ride if you decide you don’t want it or don’t like the fee. The feature is available to all Uber riders located in the US. If you prefer to use Lyft instead of Uber, you’ll see the upfront rate as usual, a feature it has offered since last year.