Uber, Lyft criticized for surge pricing after downtown Seattle shooting

Rideshare companies are under fire tonight for raising prices while people were trying to flee the gunfire during the downtown shooting.

SEATTLE — After Wednesday’s shooting, several people looked for a way out of downtown Seattle only to find their rideshares were reportedly spiking in prices.

Moments after the shooting, riders reported that prices surged to more than $100 on Lyft and Uber. To get from downtown Seattle to West Seattle, one customer said it would be $122. Another customer tweeted that it was $103 to get from downtown to the Wallingford neighborhood.

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One customer showed that surge pricing went back to normal after 6:30 p.m.

KIRO 7 reached out to Uber and a spokesperson said the company capped trip pricing at 6 p.m.

According to Uber’s website, in similar emergency situations, Uber’s Global Security Center “assesses the situation and will immediately cap trip pricing in the area. We will review situations where unintended charges might have occurred during an emergency and work to refund them. Customers can always report issues through the app. We also follow local laws and regulations related to States of Emergency where they apply.”

Lyft released this statement to KIRO 7:

“The shooting in Seattle is tragic, and our thoughts are with the victims and their families. When we learned what happened, we implemented a cap on prime-time pricing, which is automatically enabled during periods of high demand. We plan to reimburse or credit users in the surrounding area who were affected by this increased pricing,” said a Lyft spokesperson.

Both companies stated that they will reimburse customers.

On Thursday morning, police identified two suspects who remain at large.

Police ask anyone with information about the shooting to call the Seattle police tip line at 206-233-5000. Those who were there and have video or photo evidence can share it directly with investigators by uploading it at this link.