You’ve got your costume picked out, you’re made plans with your friends and you’re ready for a fun evening of Halloween mischief — but there’s one thing that can quickly put a damper on the night: Ridiculous Uber prices.
If you live in a big city, you likely have some degree of familiarity with Uber surge pricing, which the company says helps “ensure reliability when demand cannot be met by the number of drivers on the road.” But when you’re the one paying 1.5x or double what you expected to pay, the reasoning doesn’t really matter.
Thankfully, after studying data for four weeks in San Francisco and Manhattan, a team of researchers from Northeastern University have found a few simple ways to avoid surge pricing altogether.
First of all, the study claims that “the vast majority of surges are short-lived,” so if you’re willing to sit around for a few minutes, you’ll probably see the price go down the next time you check.
The researchers also noticed that only certain “surge areas” were affected by the price bump. In other words, if you’re in the middle of Times Square looking for a ride, you’re probably smack dab in the middle of a surge area. Walk a few avenues over and you have a pretty decent shot of skipping the surge.
These aren’t the miracle solutions we’ve been dreaming of, but they’re worth keeping in mind, especially if you have a long ride back to your house or apartment after the Halloween festivities end.