Uber to spend $10M to meet demand during Metro maintenance

Uber to spend $10M to meet demand during Metro maintenance
© Greg Nash

Uber says it will spend at least $10 million and expand its pool service to meet demand sparked by safety-related shutdowns on Metrorail, the Washington, D.C., subway system.

The company will “dedicate at least ten million dollars in the coming year toward meeting demand in order to help keep options affordable and encourage area riders and drivers to help combat congestion.” That money will go toward incentives for drivers, customer discounts and creating new features, Uber said.

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Uber will also expand its pool service, which allows riders to take a ride with another customer for a lower fare, to a broader area.

The efforts are in response to Metro’s plan to temporarily shut down or limit parts of the system for repairs. The SafeTrack plans begin next week, with 13 days of single tracking along part of the Silver and Orange lines.

The so-called safety surge, which involves performing three years of work in a little less than 12 months, is currently slated to continue through next March.

The system shut down for 24 hours this past March to address maintenance issues after an electric fire on one of the Metro lines.

Safety issues on the Metrorail system have attracted the attention of federal regulators and members of Congress. Secretary of Transportation Anthony FoxxAnthony Renard FoxxBig Dem names show little interest in Senate Lyft sues New York over new driver minimum pay law Lyft confidentially files for IPO MORE said this month that he thought about shutting the system down over safety concerns.

“We have the ability to withhold dollars from Metro; we have the ability to shut Metro down; and we aren’t afraid to use the authority we have,” he said.