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NYE ride options: Best choices for availability, price

Taxis and ride share companies compete for business this busy New Year's Eve

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Now that San Antonio's ride-share battle is over, New Year's Eve will be a test to see which one riders choose on one of the busiest nights of the year. 

Both Uber and Lyft said availability is the priority, but that comes at a price, especially on nights like New Year's Eve.

During peak demand, to get more drivers on the roads, Uber uses "price surging." During the surge, rates go up substantially, but customers have to approve the hiked price before they request the ride. 

If customers don't want to pay that price there's a button they can press that will notify them if the surge ends and prices drop again.

When the Lyft system is jammed it does something similar, called Prime Time. The rates are raised by percentage and riders also must confirm prices before they're charged. The difference with Lyft is that it's the only ride-share company that has a cap on how much the price can rise. That cap is at 200 percent.

For both Lyft and Uber, once the high demand falls or the supply rises, prices return to normal.

Taxi companies still never hike prices, even on busy holidays. San Antonio Yellow Cab's president said every cab will be out tonight, and the call centers will be fully staffed. However, being one of the busiest nights of the year, getting through still could be tough. He said if that's the case, use Yellow Cab's "Hail-a-Cab" app to request a ride.

There is one thing all these companies agree on: Drinking and driving, and risking your life and others this holiday is not worth it. Police will be out in full force too, looking for drunk drivers who are breaking the law and putting others in danger. 

If you decide to drive your car out, but end up drinking too much to drive home, AAA's Tipsy Tow service will tow you and your car home free of cost up to 10 miles. For this service, call 1-800-222-4357 or 1-800-AAA-HELP. For more details on Tipsy Tow, click here.


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