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Ridesharing apps slammed on New Year's Eve in Rochester

Ridesharing app Uber (AP Photo)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- It was the first New Year's Eve for ridesharing in Rochester.

Drivers were slammed with more customers than they expected, which created a surge in fares.

The surge was good for drivers, but some folks looking for a ride weren't willing to pay the higher rates.

When driver Steve Piotter saw Uber maps turn red, showing hundreds of folks looking for a ride, “It's normally not that red, ever,” he said.

That’s when he hit the road.

In four hours, he made almost $200.

“I thought maybe I would make $100 - $150, but then when I saw I had made $200, that was crazy. It was the most I've ever made in one day,” said Piotter.

The rideshare red zone maps show an increase in customers, and surge in fares and demand for drivers.

“The surge gives you a boost in pay, and also charges the customer a little bit more, just for extra convenience of having us on the road on these late hours,” said Teresa Munoz, an Uber and Lyft driver.

“It says on there, ‘It's busy. Fares are a lot higher than usual,’” Piotter explained. “No one complained about the price because Uber warned they would be higher.”

Munoz usually makes $100 on a Sunday.

On New Year’s Eve, she banked almost $350.

“When I saw a little over $300, I was like, ‘wow! ok. I can do this. No problem,” Munoz said.

It was a good night for drivers, but for some looking for a ride, the price hike was too steep.

Samuel Devine decided not take Uber

“I was looking at an Uber that's usually $10, but it was costing like $65 last night, so I decided to not do that,” said Devine, who wanted to take an Uber. “I would've paid $30 maybe. Three times more is expensive, but reasonable. It's a service like anything else and they can charge what they want and I can protest by not doing it.”

Uber let's riders know when rates surge in the app. Some riders can choose to wait a few minutes to see if the rates go back down to normal when fewer people are looking for a ride.

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