UBER USERS COMPLAINED THAT THEY WERE PAYING PRICES THAT WERE TOO HIGH WHEN THEY SUMMONED UBER DRIVERS TO THE LONDON TERROR ZONE. WAS UBER MORALLY WRONG FOR CHARGING HIGHER PRICES FOR THESE EVACUATIONS?
App users complained that they were being charged inflated prices on Saturday night after a van plowed into pedestrians on London Bridge and three knife-wielding men attacked revelers in a nearby nightlife district.
The backlash was intense on social media, where commentators said that Uber should have immediately disabled surge pricing for people trying to make their way home across the capital.
“Hey @Uber — you’re really going to surge price x2.1 during a terrorist attack in #London???” said one Twitter user. “Lower than low.”
ALLOCATING SCARCE RESOURCES
In the middle of a terrorist attack in London, or in any major city, Uber drivers are a scarce resource. That’s because demand in the region near the attack skyrockets. The people who are located near the attacks want an Uber driver probably more, at that point, than a person calling an Uber on the other side of the city who hasn’t even heard about the attack yet.
The lives of the people near the attack who are calling an Uber might depend on that Uber arriving ASAP.
But, for that matter, the lives of the Uber drivers might be at stake, too…