UK

Uber Under Fire For Tripling Fares During London #TubeStrike

09/07/2015 10:16 BST | Updated 09/07/2015 12:59 BST

Taxi firm Uber is under fire after it emerged fares had nearly tripled at peak travel periods during the London Tube strike.

The company was accused of “cashing in” on commuter misery after travellers using the app were at one point informed fares had risen 2.9 times the normal amount and that a more than £40 minimum fare had been instated.

The app, which connects drivers with passengers directly instead of through a centralised booking service or just hailing a car in the street, uses a pricing algorithm which detects situations of high demand and low supply and hikes the price in increments.

tube strike

London is currently a mass of heaving queues

But users took to social media to complain about the controversial policy after the strike took hold on Wednesday evening.

Uber is a controversial body in Britain and has faced much opposition from the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association which has repeatedly called on TfL to place the same restrictions on it as it enforces on the capital’s black cabs.

MP John Mann tweeted: “Uber fares have trebled today. Which is why protecting black cabs is so important.”

And Mayor Boris Johnson told LBC: "I hope London's black cab drivers take advantage of this and get additional fares today to help Londoners out."

Last month Johnson spoke of his disapproval of the service, stating: “I think they are setting out to do serious economic damage to the black taxi trade.”

Uber was condemned last year for putting up prices in Sydney during a hostage situation which saw a gunman take over a café in the city centre.

Following an outcry the firm performed a U-turn and offered full refunds to users and free rides to those trying to evacuate the area, though it maintained fares had increased to encourage more drivers to come online and pick up passengers in the area.

Tube Strike Misery