Ridesharing companies made use of the BART outage


The BART or Bay Area Rapid Transit is a famous transportation system that serves in the Bay Area in San Francisco, this subway and rapid transit elevated system connects the city with the other cities in San Mateo, Contra Costa and Alameda.

It operates in five routes on 167 km of the track connecting the 5.1 km automated guide way transit to the International Airport at Oakland that includes many station and it connects forty five stations. The system was formed in 1957 and is operated by the San Francisco BART district. And from 2017 the service is expanded to San Jose with the Warm Spring and Silicon Valley BART extension.

Transit service halt in San Francisco
The power lines went down on March 27th and the passengers in BART were stranded on the West Oakland platform. The transit service temporarily halted in between West Oakland and Embarcadero and the passengers in the bay area were stranded without service for more than one hour.

It was reported that a car crashed the power pole near the station at West Oakland and the electrified lines ran through the tracks and because of the sudden fallout the service in the Transbay Tube was closed in both the direction before ten in the morning. The fire department and the Pacific Gas and Electric team cleared the track line. The passengers in the East Bay can to know that something went wrong when the announcement and the public- address speakers were suspended and when the doors failed to close.

The transit travels around the city hailing the passengers and many of them booked the ride hailing service to either get back home or to work.

Dynamic pricing by ridesharing companies
The Dynamic pricing or surge pricing occurs when the demand is high. The cost of the rides was more than the normal pricing because the demand is more than the supply. When the drivers are considerably low the ridesharing company cannot meet with the increasing booking request and so they will introduce the surge pricing option in their service.

The sudden raise in the cab fare depends of different variables like the estimated traffic in a particular location, the distance of the predicted route, number of drivers and riders using the service at the given time and the estimated time.

However, during surge pricing riders are ensured to receive their ride by matching with the available drivers, but the cost of the trip will be higher than the normal rate. But the increase in the price will encourage more drivers to get on the road and trip in the area where the demand is high. Because the cab drivers can also earn more money than the amount they earn on their daily trips. The riders on booking a ride will be informed if there is a surge pricing, so that they can choose whether to book the ride or not.

Surge pricing made its way
When the BART service was shut down because of the power line issue, many of the commuters turned to the online ride hailing service Lyft and Uber to head back home or to the office. But to their disappointment, the passengers faced surge pricing by both the ridesharing companies.

According to the recent report, both the ride hailing companies Lyft and Uber surged the prices to two hundred percent that frustrated the passengers. Even the cheapest ride options like the Lyft Line, Uber X and carpooling services were costly at that time.

The ridesharing company increased the ride fare because of the high demand for the service in the West Oakland area. The fare of the cab skyrocketed on Monday morning after the outage of the BART service because of the collapse of the power line. Some of the rides that were scheduled to trip were canceled at the last moment and the commuters had to book another ride, while others shared their ride.

By utilizing the increasing demand, the ridesharing companies increased the surge price rapidly as much as seven hundred percent. Also the cost of one way trip to travel across the bridge was between sixty dollars and one hundred and ten dollars, while the cost of the ticket is only three dollars from West Oakland to Embarcadero. Even the regular price to cross the bridge id not more tat twenty dollars in either Lyft or Uber, but the ride hailing companies played well by using the temporary transit outage and increased the surge price to an extreme level.

The officials from Lyft said that the drivers will be normally available in the area when the demands are high, but this BART incident was an expected one. The major reason for the company to increase the fare is due to the lack of availability of vehicles and drivers.

Commuters trolled the ridesharing service
Both the car hailing companies Lyft and Uber increased the surge price during the shutdown of the BART service due to some power issue. When the transit was temporarily suspended for more than 1 hour, the passengers choose to book the ridesharing services as an alternative option.

But the passengers were put to shock by looking at the cost of the ride. The ridesharing companies charged more than seventy dollars for a fifteen to twenty minutes ride and many people used the option as they were not left with any other alternate option.

However, the passengers showed their opposition against the behavior of the ridesharing companies in the social media network by posting the screenshots of the surge pricing and maps of the ridesharing companies. Also, the passengers have tweeted about the ridesharing service offered by Uber and Lyft during the BART service halt in Twitter and the #Lyft and #Uber became the popular hash tags in Twitter since that incident.

The passengers have tweeted that they had to pay seventy dollars to one hundred and twenty dollars if they had to across the bridge that would not take more than fifteen minutes ride. Though the incident was an unexpected and challenging for the ridesharing companies, the skyrocketing surge price gained a negative impression among the commuters in San Francisco.

The fire department and the Pacific Gas and Electric team cleared the track lines and the Bay Area Rapid Transit service went back running on Monday after the temporary suspension of the service.

Ridesharing companies
The two popular ridesharing companies in the United States are from San Francisco, they are Lyft and Uber. Uber is the global ridesharing company that operates in many countries worldwide and has service running in most of the leading cities in the world. Apart from providing service in the urban locations, the company also has established its service centers in the rural and sub-urban areas.

Lyft has its service operations only in the United States of America and it has occupied around 67% of the country’s cities and provides friendly service to the communities and public. Earlier the ridesharing company operated its car hailing service in three hundred cities and later announced that the company broadens its service in hundred more cities by the end of 2017. But, within three months the company had launched its service in 131 cities that is thirty one percent higher than the estimated goal.

While the ridesharing companies are popular among the public, the sudden incidents like the service suspension of BART created a bad opinion among the riders.


Author Bio:
Andrew Shah is the Manager of Digital marketing in Zoplay. He is a writer and coffee lover. He has is a graduate in Computer Science and Post Graduate in Entrepreneurship and leadership from Ulyanovsk State University, Russia. He is a passionate blogger & SEO Specialist. Zoplay is a leading Software Development company which has launched Dectar Handy which is an Uber for x handy with Android and iOS apps.

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