Uber is coming to the rescue of New Yorkers at a time when the subway system is shut down, and there's a lack of buses and taxis due to Hurricane Sandy.
The startup, which uses smartphones to connect limo drivers and riders in real time, is paying its drivers double to make sure there are enough cars on the road, while keeping the cost for the passenger the same.
"Our goal is to be a reliable transportation alternative," Uber General Manager Josh Mohrer tells Business Insider.
Uber normally adjusts its prices during peak demand times in order to keep cars on the road. But Mohrer says Uber will eat the loss for the time being.
Mohrer wouldn't say how much money Uber could potentially lose, but he says it will be a significant expense.
"We are monitoring the city's transportation health closely and will keep this running as long as we can today while we figure out more sustainable ways to keep supply up while the city is in need," Mohrer says.
Besides the good publicity from helping out New Yorkers, Uber may want to restore its reputation among riders after pulling a short-lived experiment with letting Uber users hail taxis with its app.
Update: Earlier today, Uber was passing on the extra costs of keeping drivers on the road to its customers through something called "surge pricing." People accused the company of price gouging during a disaster. Later, Uber turned off surge pricing. That's the news above. We're sorry we didn't bring more context to this post originally. Still, Uber deserves credit for – eventually– pitching in and taking high costs in order to help New Yorkers get around. Uber isn't a charity, but it's acting like one today.
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