Uber fares to rise on New Year's

When the ball drops, Uber ups the ante. 

The popular ride-sharing company is telling passengers to plan ahead. Rates will increase between 12:30 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. on New Year’s Eve — which is expected to be one of Uber's busiest nights on record. 

“For the most affordable rides, request right when the ball drops at midnight or wait until later for prices to return to normal,” the company said in a news release. 

Uber is expecting to deliver more than 2 million rides in 24 hours, and passengers will be most likely to overpay between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. and 2:30 a.m., when prices are expected to be highest. 

In Washington, D.C., Uber’s base fare to ride in an UberX car — a Toyota Camry, Honda Accord or Nissan Altima — is $2 and then 25 cents a minute or $1.25 a mile. 

Republicans have flocked to the ride-sharing company’s aid in recent months in its ongoing fight against legislators who want to limit its operations. 

The Republican National Committee (RNC) was circulating a petition earlier this year to support the “free market, pro-growth principles that Uber is employing.”

The RNC’s Finance Director Katie Walsh said then that government officials are trying to impose “strangling regulations” that limit consumer choices to protect taxi union’s profits. 

But Uber’s most recent firestorm has been over the company’s use of customer data. The company’s ability to monitor users’ movements — where they live, sleep, travel — has critics like Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenElection Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls #MeToo era shows there's almost never only one accuser, says Hill.TV's Krystal Ball Hypocrisy in Kavanaugh case enough to set off alarms in DC MORE (D-Minn.) calling for more stringent privacy laws.

Though legal to collect, review and share information about a customer’s location without their consent, it is illegal for a company’s policies to be “unfair and deceptive,” terms defined and enforced by the Federal Trade Commission.

David Plouffe, a former adviser and political strategist for President Obama, was hired by Uber over the summer as vice president of policy and strategy.