Uber is legal in Hamilton, Ont. (Robert Kirkham/News file photo)

While Uber's effect on drunk driving might not be significant, it could have an impact on your wallet.

The Buffalo News surveyed cities with similar population densities to Buffalo, gathering fare estimates for 5-mile trips that mixed highway and surface street travel.
On average, fare estimates for Uber are 50 to 60 percent cheaper than fare estimates using standard taxi rates for the same trip. However, that pricing gap closes rapidly during Uber's surge pricing, which could increase fares 10 percent to more than double the original cost.

Uber charges surge pricing when demand increases in a specific area. That increase is dependent on the number of drivers available and rides needed. Users are notified of the surge pricing before requesting a ride. We doubled standard fare estimates for the surge pricing in our analysis.

Uber has been actively working to reduce surge events, but it still promotes that as a selling point to recruit drivers.

Taxis do not change their rates based on demand, but there is a norm for tipping. We used 15 percent in our analysis, but tips could be higher, lower or nonexistent, depending on the rider.

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