NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - uberX is already in high demand after launching in New Orleans on Thursday. The ride-sharing app is up and running for its first weekend in the Big Easy.
And you'll see from the app, you may have to wait longer than you thought to catch a ride. Uber's New Orleans General Manager Tom Hayes says that's because the demand is so high right now.
"There are cars out there, again, its just a matter of demand, so, if you see that there is no car available, I recommend just trying back a few minutes later and continuing to try," said Hayes.
Hayes expects thousands of rides to take place this week. And, if you like the prices now, don't expect them to stay at this rate for Jazz Fest. Uber uses what's called surge pricing. According to Uber's blog, "on busy nights with peak demand like New Year's Eve, we use surge pricing to get enough cars on the road and help ensure you always have a reliable ride."
We asked Uber New Orleans if Jazz Fest-goers can expect to see surge pricing.
"The reason we have surge is it's a way in dynamic pricing, it's a way to encourage drivers to come out to meet that demand, so during big, big events, that is a likely time when you will see it," said Hayes.
App-based services like Uber have been controversial in New Orleans. Many local taxi drivers opposed the City Council passing an ordinance to allow ride sharing services here. We talked with one cab company owner earlier this month who shared her concerns with us.
"If you've ever heard the saying if it's cheap and fast it's not good. And, if it's cheap and good, it's not fast. Well, that's the type of service the taxi cab industry has had to provide because we're regulated by the city. And, we've never been able to provide good and fast service because that's not cheap, like they're letting Uber and Lyft do right out of the gate," said Sheree Kerner, owner of Nawlins' Cabs.
But, now that you do have another way to get a ride. Here's what you need to look out for when it comes to pricing. On the Uber app, you can always get a fare estimate before you get in the car. And the app will also tell you if surge pricing is happening in your area. The app will also tell you how much more you will be paying above the normal fare if surge pricing is in effect.
"There are functions in the app, if you don't want to take it at that time, if you don't want to pay that price, where you can actually hit a button that says notify me when it stops surging," said Hayes.
So, what's the difference between uberX and uberXL? X allows as many as four passengers while XL allows up to six. Uber Black and Uber SUV are luxury rides, similar to a limo service. On Friday afternoon, we saw surge pricing for Uber Black in New Orleans. Uber New Orleans says they are still hiring drivers to keep up with the demand.