Ortiz Decries “Surge Pricing” By Taxi Alternatives; Calls for Surge Protection from Consumer Price Gouging

December 16, 2014

Assemblymember Felix W. Ortiz (D-Kings), Chair of the Assembly Cities Committee and member of the New York State Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NYSCEL), announced today he will introduce legislation to ban the practice of “surge pricing” by taxi alternatives Uber, Lyft and others.

“This is nothing more than price gouging,” said Ortiz. “Consumers using these services think they are being given a deal but often leave with empty wallets. Alternatives for transportation in busy cities are always welcome but this practice of spiking fares is unfair and is simply bad business.”

Taxi alternatives Uber and Lyft have been flooding the markets across the country, drawing consumers who seek out the new transportation providers for quick and affordable rides.

These companies have been taking advantage of the high demand for their services and started increasing their rates. Rates often double or triple during high demand periods. Unwary riders are forced to pay premiums they didn't know were charged.

In February, the San Francisco Better Business Bureau gave Uber an F because of complaints related to surge pricing. “Hard working New Yorkers are being taken advantage of by greedy car services. I intend to do everything I can to protect consumers from this practice of surge pricing," said Ortiz.