Uber will provide refunds to residents on the Sydney side who were plagued with exorbitant fares when the city’s rail network collapsed just before its peak Wednesday afternoon, stranded hundreds of thousands of commuters.
The rideshare operator’s proposal came after receiving widespread reports that people were paying hundreds of dollars to get home because prices jumped when trains stopped.
And NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has called for free fares for the latest hard-hit commuters after enduring months of industrial action and cancellations on a troubled rail network. followed.
All trains in Sydney were stopped for 90 minutes on Wednesday afternoon after the rail network’s digital radio system, which controls communications between trains and rail operations centres, failed. It was after 4pm when everything cleared up, but the flow-on effect continued until Thursday morning’s peak.
The breakdown stranded 250,000 commuters trying to get home at the end of a hot Sydney day, quickly filling up buses and having ripple effects throughout the city’s transport system.
“I’m really sorry for the inconvenience I caused so many people yesterday,” Perotet said Thursday.
“I made it very clear to the department secretary that my expectations were… somehow, to have a free day to make up for what happened.”
Some commuters reported paying rideshare operators up to $500 to get home on Wednesday.
“Sydney trains stopped this afternoon. But Uber fares are different. Uber usually costs $20. Now $216,” tweeted one of the stranded Sydneysiders.
Amid accusations of price hikes, Uber said Thursday it would refund victims of skyrocketing fees.
In a statement to New Daily, Uber said it had previously been warned by Transport for NSW about transport problems across the city. However, it said it had not been notified of Wednesday’s outage.
“As soon as our team noticed the train disruption, we immediately lowered and limited the surge, incentivizing our driver-partners who were helping the Sydneysiders get home, and for those stranded. We made the rides more affordable.
New Daily understands that surge pricing will automatically apply between 2:45pm and 3:45pm. At 3:45 PM, a surge cap was added to prevent additional passengers from being held up at excessive fares.
An Uber spokesperson said the company has also reached out to its drivers to let them know that demand has spiked and ask them to begin work.
“Passengers charged additional fees over that surge cap for the entire duration of the outage will be automatically refunded within the next 48 hours,” the spokesperson said.
Sydney Trains ‘confident’ ahead of Thursday’s commute
Sydney Trains chief executive Matt Longlund also apologized, saying the wireless problem was caused by a component failure in the IT system.
It was replaced after an engineer worked overnight.
“The system is stable,” Longland said.
“I am confident that today we will be able to operate according to our normal timetable.”
Howard Collins, Chief Operations Officer of Transport for NSW, said the communication system is designed to automatically switch from one channel to another in the event of a problem.
“But for some reason… it wasn’t working as it should,” he told Sydney’s Radio 2GB on Thursday.
Sydney Trains ruled out a cyberattack after pinpointing the fault to an IT component. Engineers are currently investigating why the component failed and how to prevent it from happening again.
“We also plan to have another team investigate so we can forensically understand the true root cause,” Collins said.
Sydney’s train network appeared to be running on time on Thursday with no delays from early afternoon.
Labor Transportation spokesman Joe Halen said state governments have a responsibility to provide safe and reliable train systems.
“The lights over there were out sydney train But they’re also out in the transportation sector,” she said.
“No one knows who is responsible and the passengers are paying the price.”
https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/state/nsw/2023/03/09/uber-premier-sydney-trains/ Uber, PM apologize for Sydney train crash