Uber and Lyft prices skyrocket after mass shooting in Seattle

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With a suspect at large and multiple roads closed with no pending date, those hoping to travel to Seattle this weekend may need to reconsider

A mass shooting took place on Third Avenue and Pine Street, in Seattle, Washington, leaving 1 dead and 7 injured, including a 9-year-old boy. The shooting took place around 5 p.m. Wednesday on Jan. 22 after a dispute occurred outside a McDonald’s, according to the Seattle Times. Two suspects – Marquise Latrelle Tolber and William Ray Tolliver – have been identified and remain at large.

Seattle has issued numerous road closures across the city following the shooting, with no official time on when they’ll be uplifted. This has caused a surge in prices for Uber and Lyft users, with some prices reaching beyond $100 for a ten minute drive.

According to GeekWire, people leaving the area post-shooting began reporting the increased prices on Twitter. User Hannah Herber screenshotted her Lyft prices, which were $249.55 just to go north of Seattle. “You bet!” tweeted Hannah. “This is a ride that may be 20-30 minutes and is usually about $35. How is this okay?”

Jason Wiltshire, another user, tweeted his criticism of Uber following the shooting. “Good old Uber, always ready to profit out of a tragedy.”

Lyft has since released a statement to GeekWire, giving condolences for those affected by the shooting. “When we learned what happened, we implemented a cap on prime time pricing, which automatically enabled during periods of high demand,” said Lyft. 

“We plan to reimburse or credit users in the surrounding area who were affected by this increased pricing.” Uber and Lyft prices have slowly begun lowering since releasing a statement, prices currently ranging between $16 to $25 in King County, and $65 to $90 if traveling from Lakewood.

Transportation has been rerouted following the shooting, with SDOT Traffic tweeting an ongoing traffic warning on Jan. 22. “If you can, avoid downtown streets and/or delay your commute if you’re in the downtown district. Seeing high travel times due to multiple street closures in the area for investigations.”