New Year’s Eve in Nashville: The Rideshare Surge, $600+ Uber/Lyft rides?

While an estimated 150K people showed up for the festivities on New Year’s Even in Nashville Thursday night, those depending on a ride-share service like Uber or Lyft, woke up on Friday morning with more than a headache – bills for hundreds of dollars, for rides that lasted only a few minutes and went only a few miles. We’ve seen receipts for rides nearing $700 sent to us the past two days.

 murfquote Andrea DumoulinNew Year’s Eve in Nashville: The Rideshare Surge, $600+ Uber/Lyft rides?

We asked our tipsters in the ride-share groups to send us in their tips, and they surprised us with many more than expected. We already covered the NYE driver who refused to stop at a Krystal for a rider, but that doesn’t even compare to the outrageous fares these folks were charged. Let’s remember that the Sheriff’s Dept. was giving out free rides to anywhere within Davidson County – no ID or wait required. Metro Buses also ran until around 2AM, going almost anywhere you would need to be, and on top of all that there were regular taxi fares with legal maximums on their rates with no surcharges – and instead there were Uber and Lyft charging ‘surges’ up to 8x+ the normal fares. Sure a drunk rider had to ‘accept’ the surge on the app, but that’s as simple as clicking a button, and you don’t ‘really’ understand 8x surge until you wake up the next morning and check your online statement. Here’s how thing’s started out, first at at a 1.4 then a 2.8, then it pretty much jumped to a 8.x surge for the remainder of the nigh. Here’s some of the most outrageous fares we found:

Matt Jackson: $142 from Greenhouse Bar to Hendersonville
RIDE: $142 for 23 miles = $6.17/MILE

My biggest last night was from Greenhouse Bar to Hendersonville during a surge. Ended up being $142. I actually felt bad for the guy. He had no idea it was going to be that much. I had no idea it was going to be that much. I picked up the fare as one of those double-stack fares where the other comes in during a current ride, so I didn't see the surge level. He was understanding about it being out of my hands, but I thought he was going to break down right there. Luckily he had his buddy to worry about, who had literally passed out in the back seat seat and took 10 minutes to get him awake enough to get out of the car.

Kristin Poppe: $107 downtown to Belle Meade, 25 minutes.
TOTAL: $250, DRIVE 4 HOURS = $62.50/HR

I keep having trouble seeing mine, but it looks like $107 (possibly before their cut) from downtown to deep into Bell Meade. And he broke up with his girlfriend. It was a therapy session with a drunk person for 25 minutes. Poor dude got dumped, slapped, and paid over $100 to get home safely.

Jason George: 5x Surge = $207 Church St to Airport Hotel
TOTAL $800 Night w/$67 in tips, DROVE 142 MILES = $5.63+/MILE

on SURGE: “I made $427 from 11:50 to 2:48am. Pleasant surprise.”

 In what was going to be my last ride at 2am (since near home) I go from play to airport hotel @5x SELECT. Pax Had to have food. (3 crazy college girls) 50 minutes in Mc D drive through. Right as they got their food - friend that ditched then at play needed a ride. So they asked if we could get them, downtown, um duh! scooped them up, then back to Donelson. The result.... $164. And... They felt bad I lost money while at McDonald's so they scrounged up $23 for tip in cash and one said " if I could use a card I would tip more". I said, I accept cards! Additional $20. Wow $207 uber! I'm sure NYE last year was more lucrative. But NO COMPLAINTS HERE. $800+ night with $67 in tips. Oh and drove only 142 miles to do it.

Michael Taylor: $147 from 1st/KVB to Harding = 7x Surge

 $147 1st and KVB to harding on a 7x surge

Lisa Fields Stafford: 7.6x Surge = $166.90
Related: Lisa Refused to stop so she could go make more money.

 I had several at or above $100. My last high surge ride was XL at 7.6 and he wanted to go to Krystal. I actually told him no. I told him I was taking him home and he should download Postmates and have his food delivered. I know I could have earned more on the ride, but I really didn't want him in my car any longer than necessary. His total fare ended up being $166.90 I told him there were others out in the cold and I needed to go drive someone else.

And for the highest fare we found tonight, meet Andrea Dumoulin:
$662.21 Omni to Murfreesboro, 33 miles, 7.9x Surge = $20.06/MILE

Ok so I'm pretty sure mine was a glitch but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.... Picked up at Omni when it was surging at 7.9 on an XL took them to Murfreesboro the end fare said $662.21! I know that can't be right....

Wilson Garrett: Foobar to Division St Bar = $64 @ 6.5x Surge
Feels good to feel so bad! 6.1 miles = $10.49/MILE

wilson felt bad felt good

Not only were the Uber & Lyft Drivers getting outrageous surge-priced rates, they were abusing the system on top of that. Taking riders out of the way by miles and minutes in the double-digits, great inflating the fares, and probably assuming they won’t get flagged by the system for an inefficient route due to all the holiday traffic:

To the Lyft driver who pick up the group on Pennington Bend rd(NYE) that took 2 cars and I had the 2nd load. They asked me to just follow so they could stay together as a group. Going 10 miles longer on a trip just to run up the fare is BS and drivers like you give us all a bad name. Going all the way up Briley to I24 in whites creek the going down I 24 then circling around the inter loop. at which time I told the group I was with that this was ridiculous and got off at shelby and right down town to the drop off point. you could of got off at Ellington Pwky and been there 15 min quicker. If you dont know your way around town any better than that then you need to quit. If you was running up the fare thats just wrong and hope that rate you a 1.

longroute

Do the drivers feel bad about the surge pricing, and charging someone a month’s rent to go a few miles? They pretend to at first, but late on in the conversation, after the transactions have settled, their attitudes change quite a bit:

feelbadnope

So were you price gouged on NYE in Nashville? Did you pay the surge pricing, or were you smart enough to take one of the free or rate-controlled options? Sound off in the comments and let us know, or call/text our tip-line!

tipline

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1 Comment

  1. Neil Smith the DANDY DJ

    I know Lisa Stafford personally and she is a totally decent person. This is outrageous to imply she had any hand in gouging. She, nor any of the drivers set the fares. She obviously had a drunk in her car and didn’t feel comfortable with him in there. If there were individuals abusing the system, fine – go after them, but it’s absolutely outrageous to hold drivers accountable for simply doing their jobs and making what the system is paying. Not cool!

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