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I have said this before, but I think the surges are not completely portrayed in real time. Rather, I believe they attempt to predict where drivers will be needed based on historical usage patterns of both riders (previous customers) in the time period and drivers who typically are in the area during the time period. I do not think the surge maps are a simple calculation of instantaneous supply and demand. For one thing, real time demand is only known when the pax requests a ride. But Uber servers do know how many drivers there are in an area relative to probably future rider demand. They don't know exactly how many riders will request a ride at X time in X area. Instead, I believe they do the best they can to predict and estimate.

What this means is that you can sit in a surge area and not receive a ping. I have also experienced this. No ping means, that despite the surge pricing there are enough drivers for the available instantaneous rider demand.

Also a factor of course is that riders are given the option to be notified when the surge pricing is no longer in effect.

Uber, as a rational business, is ***attempting to moderate supply and demand*** by use of pricing, in order to have the best service at the best price for riders. They do this by predictive surge pricing, and by offering riders opportunity to ride later...when demand presumably subsides.

No one has told me these things...its just what I would do if I was an Uberczar.
 

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It is at least unethical, if not fraudulent, to be within a surge area, receive a ping from a rider in the surge area, but not receive surge rates.

Some posters have noted that the rider app may show "no surge" when the driver's app shows "surge" and one possible explanation is "delay" in sync. Although anything is possible, I doubt Uber is intentionally "stealing" the surge rates. They profit when rider pays a surge rate as we do at least they should.

But I do agree, its disheartening to be a good sheep, go to the surge area, and not receive a surge ping. I have done this once or twice but not anymore..... I am relying more on my own knowledge of where riders are likely to be based on commuting patterns and events during the time periods I am online.

One other note, once I was sitting outside a local mall, showing my son the Uber partner app. There was no surge anywhere. No yellow, all white. Just for grins, we go online. PING!!! cancel quickly. PING!! cancel quickly. PING!! cancel quickly and go off line quickly. It was really a surprise!!!!!!! So sometimes there can be high instantaneous demand but no surge pricing.
 
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