Uber is not afraid to give it to you straight. In an e-mail on Thursday afternoon to users of the ride-share app, the company said it all in the subject line: "Demand will be off the charts." It's no surprise that New Year's Eve is Uber's busiest night of the year. Everyone wants to let loose and have a few glasses of champagne while awaiting midnight, and no one wants to be a Designated Dave. So because there's really no getting around the fact that using Uber on New Year's could get pricey, here's how to avoid spending all your holiday cash before you even reach the bar.
Who better to take advice from than the masterminds behind the price surge themselves? (Hey — just remember that on most days, Uber is saving you from dropping big bucks on a taxi cab.) They may know how to hike that fare up to 3.2 times the normal rate, but they also understand the best ways to ride for cheap. And the company's tips to its riders are practical and easy to keep in mind, even when the focus is on other aspects of the evening, like how many pigs in a blanket you can scarf down before midnight.
In following with its earlier transparency, Uber admits that if you're requesting a trip somewhere between 12:30 and 4 a.m., you're basically going to have to sell your soul to pay for the ride. So it's really in your best interest to put in that request just as the ball is dropping in Times Square. I know, I know. 11:59 p.m. is typically the time to cozy up next to the person who's special enough to get your New Year's kiss, but I'm sure that person won't mind if you take on some multi-tasking when you explain that it's your Uber that's at stake.
Uber's NYE riding guide reminds its users of one feature that I am all about. Whenever you're rollin' deep, you can tap that magic "split fare" button so you and your friends can all pay a smaller amount. I'm sorry, but who would notdo this? It's the best thing invented since bagels. The recently launched UberPOOL tool could work pretty well too, by letting you carpool with folks heading to the same neighborhood.
Uber isn't just about trying to give you a reasonably-priced ride. The company also wants to make sure you're getting home in the safest way possible, so the Uber team recommends that you confirm your driver's name, vehicle, and license plate before hopping into the car. Also, take advantage of the cool features that Uber provides. You can send out a notification of your trip's status to your party hosts or your loved ones waiting at home while you're en route.
The words of advice aren't only flowing for party guests, either. If you're hosting a NYE bash, you can buy your guests Uber rides in advance through UberEVENTS. Uber will then donate $10 to Mothers Against Drunk Driving for every ride purchased through the event. What better way to start 2016 than give to a worthy cause merely by ensuring the safety of your friends and family?
Pretty sure that's it. That's the best way.