Uber Quadruples Fares During Sydney Hostage Crisis, Later Backtracks

There is an ongoing hostage situation, at the time of this article’s publication, in the central business district (CBD) of Sydney, Australia. According to various reports, up to 40 people have been taken hostage. But while everyone is concerned for those involved, Uber seemed to think it was a good idea to increase the rates for its ride-sharing service – a decision that it shortly backtracked on.

A tweet from the @Uber_Sydney account stated, “We are all concerned with events in CBD. Fares have increased to encourage more drivers to come online & pick up passengers in the area.” No sooner was the tweet sent before the public started to express outrage on social networks with some claiming that the fares reached around $100 Australian dollars (around $80 USD) for a ride.

The ride-sharing service then posted on its Twitter account that it was no longer charging for the service, “Uber rides out of the CBD today are free for all riders to help Sydneysiders get home safely.”

"We are all concerned with the events happening in Sydney," the company said in a statement. "Uber Sydney will be providing free rides out of the CBD to help Sydneysiders get home safely. We are in the process of refunding rides from the area."

Image Credit: Uber

Uber has been struggling to maintain a good front amidst several blunders which involved Uber SVP suggested the company dig up dirt on journalists, while Portland is suing the company as an illegal, unregulated transportation service. The company continues to receive negative attention for its business practices.