Uber testifies before City Council about its surge pricing

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NEW YORK (PIX11) -- Apps that use smartphones to call a car service are growing in popularity in the Big Apple.

Now, the city of New York, which regulates taxis and for-hire vehicles, is considering new laws to apply to app-based services.

A bill proposed by Councilman David Greenfield would limit the surge pricing those services, like Uber, can charge during peak hours. It caps the price at double the normal rate.

The Taxi and Livery Commissioner testified that the city only requires app-based services file a rate schedule, which lists the maximum charge. Uber's filing has surge price up to seven times a normal charge.

Uber representatives told councilmembers at the Transportation Committee meeting on Monday that the average surge in New York City is not even double the normal charge.

90 percent of trips in New York City, according to the company representative, are within normal rates.

Councilmembers ask Uber to prove it by complying with regulations that require black-car companies to turn over data on trips and prices.

Uber believes those regulations are not fair and has taken the matter to court.