Uber drops prices in 5 Canadian cities during 'winter slump'

Ride-hailing service Uber says it will cut prices in more than 100 U.S. and Canadian cities to offset the "winter slump" as people hunker inside and the demand for rides drops.

Ride-hailing service says it will cut prices in 'more than 100' U.S. and Canadian cities

Uber says it will cut prices in more than 100 U.S. and Canadian cities to spark demand during the 'winter slump.' (Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

Ride-hailing service Uber says it has cut prices in a handful of Canadian cities to offset the "winter slump" as people hunker down inside and the demand for rides drops.

The San Francisco-based company said on its website that it would cut prices in more than 100 cities in the U.S. and Canada starting this past weekend — the third year it has lowered winter prices.

Uber spokesman Jean-Christophe De Le Rue said in an email that price cuts have taken place in Ottawa, Hamilton, London and Kitchener-Waterloo in Ontario and Quebec City.​

Other Canadian cities that use Uber, including Toronto and Montreal, were not mentioned.

The company will still track its numbers and may raise them accordingly. Uber reversed its price cuts in Seattle last winter "when it became obvious that prices were already low enough," its website says.

The company said it is guaranteeing earnings for drivers in the affected cities.

Uber often changes its prices depending upon demand, and has faced criticism and legal action over its "surge pricing" during busy periods.

For instance, the legal aid clinic Juripop is threatening to pursue a class-action suitagainst Uber to reimburse clients who paid higher than normal fares on New Year's Eve in Montreal.

Catherine Papillon said she had never used Uber before and didn't understand the dynamic pricing. She was charged $82.20 for a ride that would have normally cost about $10 with a taxi, Juripop said.

Clarifications

  • An earlier version of this article implied that Uber is operational in Vancouver. It has not been since 2012, when it did not comply with the city's request to obtain a limousine licence, with a minimum charge of $75 per trip.
    Jan 13, 2016 2:00 AM ET

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