Avoiding Uber surge pricing on New Year's Eve

Posted at 6:32 PM, Dec 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-29 18:32:07-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Cesar Punski has been driving for Uber for two years. Thursday is his second New Year's Eve on the clock.

"It's gonna be crazy," Punski said. "There's gonna be a lot of people needing rides. New Year's Eve will probably be busy all day from morning until 3 a.m."

Meaning if you're going out on New Year's Eve you should expect to pay more for your Uber. It's simple supply and demand. Uber calls it 'surge'.

"If you look around the map you're going to see different colors in different areas," Punski explained. "The yellow means that it's starting to have a lot of demand. The orange means that it's really getting into a lot of demand and when you find a red area that would be known as a 'surge' area."

Crystal Combs uses Uber five or six times a week. This is her second trip with Punski in two weeks. Combs has to work New Year's Eve  and says she's happy to pay surge pricing.

"I'm not too worried about it," Combs said. "I'd rather other people be safe and get home safe to their family."

As a seasoned Uber user Combs has a tip for beating the price hike. "The surge really isn't that long," she explained. "I mean it depends on how many people are working, but usually the surge only lasts for like 10, 15 minutes and then you go back and you can get it without the surge."

Uber driver Punski has a different suggestion for those wanting to avoid paying more money.

"Get to downtown earlier than other people are going to be wanting to go there. Anywhere from 5 p.m. to about 9 o'clock and you'll probably have a normal Uber.