The Run Around
An app that saves you from Uber surcharges
We’ve all been there. “Wintery mix” just met rush hour. You’re desperate to get to a meeting uptown. Yellow cabs are nonexistent.
And Uber wants to triple your fare. Gahhhh.
Here’s how it works: It’s a separate but similar-looking app that you fire up instead of Uber (it taps into its network). A map appears. Above, it lists your current surge pricing. Below is a button that says “Goodbye Surge.” Tap it and a purple pin will drop you at the nearest no-surge zone.
We recently tried it on a clear-skied Friday morning. Uber had our address listed with a “2.8x” increase (stupid 9 a.m.). We went into SurgeProtector, and it told us that a block away (literally the matter of walking across Houston Street) had zero surge increase.
Depending on the time and the conditions, the app might suggest moving several blocks away. But there’s a way to find even a decreased surge. When the map appears, hold your finger and move the purple pin around to find a nearby corner that’s, say, half the increase.
From there, hit “order” and it’ll launch Uber for you with the new location. While your driver is en route, cross the street and save some cash.