It has been my experience that you have a better chance of getting surge pings the closer you are to a surging area. You must pick and choose as the pings come along. No surge no ride (if you know for a fact the area around you is surging hot).So the actual answer is, there is no correlation
Short answer: It all depend how Sara feels that day.
Long answer: In most cases you need to be inside or on the border of a surge zone to receive surge pings. But its not always the case. Sara can sometimes send you base fare pings 20 minutes away from your surging zone even if you're sitting in the middle of it.
In most cases the surges are likely to occur at the same times and same areas BUT there are days when Sara decides to turn surge off for unknown reasons. She dosnt like bad (surge) publicity. This normaly happens folowing some bad press days. Doesn't happen alot though.If I can quote you directly...
I find the closer i get to the surge zone, the further it gets from me
Because you are still, a typical ant waiting in wrong area, at the wrong time.
Naa, it takes 2 years and 7 months to give birth to a baby called "SURGE"(the real one).Memorise the red zones and the time of day. They often occur at the same areas daily.