Uber has promised to reimburse customers who paid high surge prices after the Sydney rail network decided to have a sooky la la on Wednesday.
Death, taxes and trains in Sydney having a “pick me” moment. You just can’t beat it, folks.
If, like moi, you don’t live in Sydney thus aren’t full bottle on its deeply temperamental choo-choo system, there was an “outage” at peak-hour which saw trains plant their mechanical asses down at stations for hours. Just took a pew and had a nap like they had absolutely nowhere to be, the bastards.
The technical whoopsie doodle left tens of thousands of travellers stranded, per the Guardian, with Uber fares shooting through the roof with high surge fees.
On Twitter, some folks reported paying hundreds of dollars in surge fees.
Following hefty backlash, the company announced on Thursday that it will issue partial refunds.
“In the past we have been alerted by Transport for NSW when there were Sydney-wide transport issues, however, in this instance we were not informed of the complete outage on the NSW train network until well after it began,” Uber wrote in a statement.
“As soon as our team became aware of the train disruption, we immediately lowered and capped surge to still incentivise driver-partners who were helping Sydneysiders get home, while making rides more affordable for those stranded.
“Surge pricing happens in real time when demand for rides exceeds the number of driver-partners online and works to attract more drivers to the area. In this case, we proactively reduced and capped that surge and communicated with driver-partners to let them know about the increased rider demand and encourage them to come online and help provide a ride to those who needed one. This approach was communicated to Transport for NSW and the Minister’s office.”
Uber confirmed any rider who was charged an additional amount above that surge cap for the full duration of the outage will automatically be reimbursed within the next 48 hours.
As for the bevy of trains which had a complete conniption, NSW Premier and alleged vape enjoyer Dominic Perrottet said he was heaps soz that the Sydney rail network shat itself.
“These challenges occur from time to time,” he said.
“What’s most important is when they happen they get fixed immediately. I’ve been assured by the secretary of the Department of Transport that this won’t happen again.”
I don’t know about you but I have lived in lil’ old Perth since day dot and I genuinely cannot remember one time our public transport system momentarily died and caused abject chaos. Whether it’s the weather or whatever the flip that never-ending saga between the NSW Government and the Rail, Tram and Bus Union was, Sydney trains appear to semi-frequently drop like flies. Transperth could simply never.
As a reward for surviving the Great Sydney Rail Network Flop Of 2023, Perrottet said he’s ordered a fare-free day. Your train may be 40 minutes late but with God as his witness, you will not pay a cent to ride that mechanical beast.