State Rep. Chan Rails Against App Surge Pricing After T Derailment

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(Shari Small/WBZ NewsRadio)

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — At least one Massachusetts lawmaker is fuming that ride share users paid premium prices after Tuesday morning's derailment of an MBTA Red Line train.

Quincy State Rep. Tackey Chan feels that ride share customers took advantage of their customers.

Commuters trying to get to work immediately after the derailment complained that Uber and Lyft's surge pricing skyrocketed, with some riders paying $100 to get from Dorchester to downtown.

"While the cab industry is not allowed to create surge charges based on circumstances, the ride share industry has chosen to do that," Chan told WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe. "To take advantage of people who are in no control of a bad situation is not pro-consumer."

Chan is urging commuters to file their complaints with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, which regulates ride share companies.

"We don't know about it until you tell us, so it's essential that consumers do contact the Department of Utilities transportation division if they see any kind of surges from any of the ride-sharing companies," Chan said.

Under the law, surge pricing is allowed—unless there's a declared state or federal emergency.

There's also apparently no cap on how high that surge pricing can go.

Uber said they turned off their surge pricing system in the immediate area as soon as they heard about the derailment.

Lyft said Friday evening that they were issuing ride credits to those hit hard by the surge.

"We recognize this was difficult for some riders so we elected to issue ride credits to those who were most impacted," the company said in a statement. "We are always working to ensure riders have access to reliable transportation, even during the busiest times."

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WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports

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