uber toronto

The Toronto blizzard shut down Uber Eats and caused huge surge prices for rides

On top of the ton of other hassles that Monday's treacherous snowstorm brought residents of Toronto, anyone trying to get around the city was left completely out of luck when it came to virtually any form of transportation.

This included Uber, which meant that food delivery through the app was likewise unfortunately unavailable.

The city advised motorists to stay off the roads at all costs as the snow accumulation reached 36 cm by mid-afternoon, making roads an impassible mess, halting buses, streetcars, subways and even planes.

With transportation options limited, many turned to food delivery apps while they hunkered down inside, only to find that delivery was not an option.

Uber Eats delivery was fully shut down at points, with only pickup options available to residents of the city and surrounding area as the white stuff continued to fall.

This proved extra frustrating given that many sidewalks were not cleared for most of the day, and a number of restaurants and other businesses were shuttered due to the storm.

Though Uber rideshare itself was technically still up and running, with major highways closed or absolutely blocked and tons of vehicles stuck on the messy roads, available drivers were few and far between, and the risks for getting stranded — or worse, getting in an accident — were, and still remain, high.

The company cautioned drivers and delivery people to only work if they felt safe to do so during the winter storm event, also advising them to listen to local officials, who were asking everyone to stay home unless absolutely necessary.

A spokesperson for Uber told blogTO that delivery was indeed unavailable "for periods of time across certain cities in Ontario and Quebec," and that surge pricing for rides did occur while there was high demand and a dearth of drivers.

Surge pricing was eventually capped in Southwestern Ontario, but people still noticed that usually cheap fares were extremely high, as were wait times.

The problem persisted into Tuesday, though thankfully pricing was not nearly as inflated as the $100 dollars or so people were being quoted for rides that usually cost around a quarter of the price.

Uber confirmed that as cleanup slowly gets underway, more and more drivers and delivery people are back at work accepting rides and orders, so residents can expect prices and availability to return to normal levels soon.

Still, delivery and ride options were still limited well into this afternoon.

Though the weather phenomenon certainly caused its fair share of headaches, there were quite a few who managed to see the beauty of the storm, and even got out and enjoy it in creative ways.

Lead photo by

@socialcut


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