Uber has recently had some pretty terrible PR going on.
First, it took some major heat from disgruntled users for the company's policy of surging prices during busy times, specifically during snowstorms that hit the east coast in December, and then during New Years Eve.
Uber has explained that the higher prices are necessary to give drivers more incentive to go out, especially in bad weather conditions, but that has not satisfied customers who paid exorbitant prices.
Then there was the story of the 6 year old girl who was killed by an Uber driver on New Year's Eve, which is just horrible in so many ways.
So, perhaps as a way to take a little bit of the heat off itself, and to stay ahead of an very competitive market, Uber announced on Thursday that it will be cutting fares for its uberX service in the majority of the U.S. cities it operates in.
"What a lot of folks don’t know about Uber is how inexpensive it is to ride uberX. For the last two years, we have worked our asses off to introduce low-priced alternatives to cities worldwide," Uber wrote.
"We’ve rolled out uberX in dozens of cities and rolled out dozens of price reductions across the country. It’s hard work but has big pay off with millions more people able to experience the Uber magic."
But Uber says that it now wants to be "the cheapest ride in every Uber city." So it is cutting prices in 16 of the 24 cities it operates in across the country.
Prices are going to be cut by between 15% and 34% in cities that include Chicago, SF, Seattle, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Orange County. Minneapolis, Atlanta, Sacramento, Tucson, Indianapolis, Denver, Dallas, Baltimore, Charlotte, Nashville will also be seeing cuts as well.
"More cars and drivers mean better coverage and lower pickup times. Lower pickup times mean better economics for drivers, and thus more drivers and cars. And we want to deliver that value to our customers," Uber said.
UberX, which first launched in July 2012, is a fleet made of mostly hybrids, as well as some smaller sedans. The service was already Uber's way of competing with ride-sharing service, and was considered a lower cost option to Uber's standard Black service.
This is not the first time that Uber has cut prices for its uberX fleet. In June of last year it cuts prices in order to make them 10% cheaper than a taxi. With these new price drops, Uber now says that it will be 26% cheaper.
In January of last year the company also lowered the prices on its standard Uber Black car service by 10%.
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