This was also not very popular with Eric T. Schneiderman, New York state’s attorney general, who had questioned whether this violated the state’s laws against price gouging. In July, Uber and Schneiderman announced an agreement that would limit Uber’s use of surge pricing.
The agreement covered Uber in New York state, but the company also said that it would limit its surge pricing during emergencies across the country. Under this policy, it would still hike prices, but it would cap that number by making it below the three most expensive non-surged days during the preceding two months.
In New York, where Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency, that means prices cannot go up above 2.8 times the normal fare. States of emergency have also been declared in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut and New York state. In Boston, for example, before the travel ban goes into effect at midnight, Uber can charge up to 2.9 times its normal rate and no more.
Uber also said that 20 percent of the fare collected during surge priced trips taken during emergencies will be donated to the American Red Cross.