Prices on Uber and Lyft rose to as much as five times normal rates in the immediate aftermath of a deadly shooting in downtown Seattle on Wednesday evening.
The automated “surge pricing,” which kicks in during periods of high demand, lasted for about an hour and drew widespread criticism before the companies manually reset prices to normal levels.
This is not an uncommon occurrence after shootings and other emergencies around the world. The ride-hailing companies have taken steps to speed up their manual override systems to end surge pricing in such situations, but the Seattle shooting shows that there is still a significant lag in that process.
Lyft customer Jeff Landset tweeted that his Lyft ride from downtown Seattle to Wallingford just a few miles away was estimated at $103.61:
More on the downtown Seattle shooting: