Uber Price Surge During Sydney Siege – Why Is Everyone So Mad?

    Unlike public transportation and taxi services, private ride-sharing company Uber continued service in area surrounding hostage situation.


    By Jacob Engels


    Over the past 24-hours, the world has been watching the hostage situation unfold in a Sydney, Australia Lindt cafe. A lone-gunman, identified as Man Haron Monis – ended up killing two hostages before a special forces team breached the cafe, freeing the remaining hostages and killed the Muslim cleric. We are glad everyone is now safe.


    During the siege, private ride-sharing company Uber instituted it’s price surging mechanism which goes into effect during times of intense demand – or when the company is trying to encourage drivers to come online for consumers. The company tweeted that it was hoping to get more drivers online in the area to help those trying to flee areas surrounding the hostage crisis. The prices averaged from $148 to $184 for a driver to transport riders from the hostage area. Since public transportation had been shut down and taxi services were not providing service in the crisis area, many Sydney residents took to Uber in order to flee to a safe area.


    In case you don’t know how Uber works, here is a quick breakdown. Before hailing an Uber, riders enter their drop-off location are given an estimate and asked if they want to precede. If they agree to the terms, the Uber is dispatched and at the end of the trip, their credit card on file is billed. And this brings me to the main point of this article, what is wrong with Uber instituting their price surge mechanism in this scenario? Public transportation was offline, taxi services refusing to approach the area and residents were stuck.


    First off, if hailing an Uber is your first thought during a hostage crisis – you might need to reevaluate your life-or-death preparedness plan.


    Second, if you are in imminent danger – isn’t a $150.00 ride to safety worth it? Hard to imagine that most people would think that their life is worth less…


    Third, people do not have the right to get upset over a price for service that they willingly accepted. If you thought your life wasn’t worth $150.00, then you should not have accepted the terms.


    Fourth, why is no one talking about the fact that these Uber drivers were putting themselves at risk for under $200.00? It’s admirable that they were willing to dispatch to an unsafe area experiencing a hostage crisis with a crazed gunman – but it’s saintly to do so for ONLY $148 to $184.00. These people have families like the rest of us.


    Fifth, when public transportation and traditional taxi services failed consumers – it was Uber, a young start-up that was there to evacuate people.


    So, why are people going crazy and claiming Uber was trying to profit from this tragedy? The people who agreed to the terms of the service should be grateful that Uber was there for them and helped them get out of danger. $148 to $184.00 is a cheap fare to get your ass out of dodge when a crazed gunman is killing people.


    If you were put in that situation and accepted the terms of the service and then used a tragedy to bitch about it and get a free ride….YOU ARE CHEAP. Uber shouldn’t have been bullied into apologizing, the people who utilized the death of two innocent people for a free ride should be apologizing. I mean, it’s only your life – but I guess people want that at McDonald’s pricing also.



    Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at info@eastorlandopost.com