Sydney siege: Uber price surge attacked by social media users

International taxi firm has been heavily criticised for the price surged - based on an algorithm - and has offered free fares out of the area

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The Independent Online

An international taxi firm provoked outrage after it raised fares on journeys within Sydney during an armed hostage situation – before rapidly reversing its position and announcing free fares.

Uber’s prices spiralled as news broke today of the armed Sydney siege – a move that the company claimed was governed by an algorithm and occurs whenever demand rapidly increases within a particular area, in order to encourage the arrival of more drivers.

As authorities cordoned off the area – and a small number of hostages fled to safety – social media users reacted angrily to the global company.

One Australian users wrote: “It's just so nice to know that no matter what happens, @Uber will fight to remain #1 douche company of the world.”

Another: #Uber sees the #SydneySiege as a giant business opportunity, apparently. Lovely people.”

The company has since announced that all fares from the Central Business District (CBD) – where the Lindt chocolate shop is located – will be free for passengers.

In a statement posted on their Australian site, the company said: “We are all concerned with the events happening in Sydney.

“Uber Sydney will be providing free rides out of the CBD to help Sydneysiders get home safely,” they added they would also be refunding fares for passengers.

“Our thoughts are with those affected and the NSW Police Force.”