Uber Cut Prices in 100 Cities to Compete With Your Couch

Adam Berry | Getty Images

Happy New Year from Uber: The ridesharing company announced in a blog post that it is cutting ride prices in 100 U.S. and Canadian cities, beginning Saturday.

It's a technique Uber has used in the past, and it has nothing to do with rewarding you or the rest of its user base. Instead, it's a business move — simple supply and demand. Uber has discovered that "people hunker down at home" in January, and "demand for rides drops." This is the company's attempt to pull you off your couch and away from Netflix and the NFL playoffs (which also start on Saturday).

It's not entirely clear what kind of a discount you should expect — that's because it's different in every city. In San Francisco, discounts for UberX will only be about 10 percent, according to a company email, but it sounds like it could be substantial in other parts of the country.

In the blog post, Uber explained how it cut prices 40 percent in Charlotte last year before having to raise them back up because driver earnings were suffering.

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It's possible the same thing will happen this year, too, depending on how many people take advantage of the price cut. "If drivers aren't busier, prices will go back up again," Uber's post reads. Another reminder that this is business, not just kudos to customers.

Still, lower prices are lower prices. And who knows? This might be a first step to repairing the damage that happened 10 days ago on New Year's Eve, when prices for Uber rides were surging to nearly 10 times the normal fee.

By Kurt Wagner, Re/code.net.

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