Learn how surge pricing helps quickly connect each person who needs a ride with a driver to help them get to their destinations.*
Sometimes ride requests increase unexpectedly. Bad weather, rush hour, and special events, for instance, may cause unusually large numbers of people to request an Uber trip at the same time. This creates conditions where there aren’t enough drivers on the road to serve the uptick in ride requests.
Prices may increase to help ensure that those who need a ride can get one. This system is called surge pricing. Surge pricing automatically goes into effect when there are more riders in a given area than available drivers. This encourages more drivers to head to the busy area over time and shifts rider demand, to maintain reliability and restore balance.
Riders are informed of the higher prices when surge pricing is in effect. Some riders will choose to pay, while some will choose to wait a few minutes until prices lower again.
When prices are surging, you’ll see area-specific dollar amounts on the map. This surge amount represents the minimum additional earnings that will be added to your next trip. For long trips, we’ll adjust the surge amount to higher than the minimum on the screen to make sure you’re making money for your extra effort.
To earn surge, drive to the surge zone on the map. If you drive through multiple surge zones while waiting for a trip, you’ll always earn the highest surge amount on your next trip request, as long as you stay online. And if a rider requests from a different area than the one you’re in, you’ll always earn the higher of the 2 amounts.
Because the rates are based on real-time demand, surge prices update every few minutes. Surge pricing is also specific to different areas in a city, so some neighborhoods may have surge pricing when others do not.
When demand increases in a specific area, that neighborhood will change color. You can zoom into colored areas of your app's city map to see current surge pricing.
The colored areas of the map will range from light orange to dark red. Light orange areas represent smaller amounts while dark red areas indicate larger amounts.
You can see the amount of surge pricing that will apply to your next trip in the Driver app when you enter a surge zone.
*The material provided on this web page is intended for informational purposes only and applies to all US cities except New York City and Los Angeles. These descriptions may not apply in markets outside of the US. Drivers in NYC, LA, and most non-US markets have a version of surge that shows multipliers on the map instead of dollar amounts.