Ola, Uber & Swiggy levy surge on New Year’s Eve

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CHENNAI: Booking cabs and ordering food using mobile applications turned expensive on New Year’s Eve as cab aggregators and a food application resorted to surge pricing. As demand remained high, cab aggregators like Uber and Ola had their dynamic pricing mode on for much of Sunday with rides surging up to three times the normal fare-rate.
Swathi, 24, an Infosys employee who had to shell out a surge fare almost double the original fare on Sunday, said she found it hard to find any cabs from her home near Velachery. “I kept trying multiple cab apps on my phone. After twenty minutes when I finally found one, it levied a surge,” she said.
To add to the woes of customers, drivers refused to accept rides for both car pooling and individual rides.
B Prakash, a driver, said, “There were too many ride requests. My phone wouldn’t stop buzzing since Saturday afternoon. Many drivers found it difficult to handle the volume of requests.”
But it wasn’t just cabs, popular food-delivery app Swiggy too charged a surge.A message informed users that an extra charge would be added to their take-away bill. “To provide additional incentive to our drivers to deliver food today, we shall be levying a nominal fee on your order,” it said along with a New Year greeting.