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Uber app to help riders avoid bill shock

AAP logoAAP 2/12/2016 Darren Cartwright

Festive season revellers will have a clearer understanding of whether taking a taxi or a ride-sharing service will be cheaper when making their way home.

Ride-sharing service Uber has recently changed its smart phone app following complaints from customers who suffered bill shock because of price surges.

The update now gives a straight-up fare estimate, inclusive of the price surge, to inform a rider of the likely cost of the trip.

Previously, the price surge figure was given to a consumer who had to either accept or decline and it caused problems for the ride-sharing giant both here and overseas.

Anyone grabbing a taxi in Brisbane will pay between $2.90 and $6.30 (midnight to 5am) to ride plus $2.17 per km.

Uber's fare fluctuate because of price surges during peak periods and it has caused confusion for riders.

Last New Year's Eve a Sydney woman claimed she was billed $720 for a ride from Sydney's Neutral Bay to Blacktown, a trip that would regularly cost $100.

A Perth man complained his 20km Uber trip cost him $332.

A Uber spokesman said the new app gives riders a fare estimate before they accept.

He said if riders were not happy to pay the estimated fare they should wait until it is cheaper.

This will be the first festive season that the ride-sharing service will operate legally in Queensland following law chnages in September.

To compensate taxi licence owners, the government will pay $20,000 per licence, capped at two per owner, as part of a major assistance package.

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