Uber: High demand likely, surge pricing possible during papal visit

Image 1 of 2

Uber wants riders to be prepared for longer wait and trip times due to road closures that will be in effect for Pope Francis’ visit.

The company says it has been working for weeks to ensure that they can meet demand and be as reliable as possible during the papal visit. Among other steps, Uber has been sharing road closure maps with their driver-partners. Because demand is expected to be high, the company says surge pricing may kick in this week.


Uber has released the following tips for riders:

-- Riders should call their driver once he/she has accepted the trip request so that they can plan the pick up, given that traffic will likely be heavy and roads could be blocked off.
-- We suggest that riders always cross-check the vehicle make and model, and license plate number listed in the app to ensure they're getting into the correct vehicle.

Surge pricing:

-- During times of peak demand – when there are not enough drivers on the system – fares increase so as to incentivize more drivers to meet that demand.
-- Dynamic pricing is an algorithm that automatically kicks in when demand outstrips supply, and solves for the perennial challenge of never being able to get a ride after a major sporting event or during bad weather.
-- Because Uber doesn’t employ drivers, every driver has a choice of how he or she spends his/her time.  Dynamic pricing helps bring demand and supply into line, when necessary by incentivizing more drivers to come onto the platform.
-- Once demand falls or supply increases sufficiently, prices quickly go back to normal.
-- The fact that dynamic pricing is in place is communicated repeatedly to a user – and requires confirmation – before the user can request the trip. When the multiplier is more than double, riders must type the amount in to confirm. There is also the opportunity to get a fare estimate in the app ahead of requesting a ride.

Important links and information:


Click here for the full list of road closures and detours during the Papal visit

Maps of road closures and alternate routes:

Nunciature (Vatican Embassy)
White House visit and Parade Closures
St. Patrick's Church
U.S. Capitol
St. Matthew's Cathedral

Click here for information for riders using Metro during the Papal visit


Tuesday, September 22, 2015:
- Pope Francis will begin his pastoral visit to the United States with his arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in the afternoon.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015:
- Welcoming ceremony at the White House followed by a private meeting with President Obama.

- Parade around the White House Ellipse and along the National Mall.

- Midday prayer with the bishops of the United States at the Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle.

- Mass in the afternoon on the east portico of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and the University Mall at The Catholic University of America. During the Mass, the pope will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra.

Thursday, September 24, 2015:
- Address joint meeting of the U.S. Congress in the morning.

- Visit St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in D.C. and meet with several clients of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington in late morning.

- Blessing and brief remarks to the clients gathered at lunchtime for the St. Maria Meals Program of the Catholic Charities for the Archdiocese of Washington.

- Depart for New York City from Andrews Air Force Base.

More info is available here: http://walkwithfrancis.org/schedule/ and http://adw.org/