How surge works

Gridwise Academy  •  Rideshare 101

In order to make sure that every potential passenger can get a ride quickly, rideshare services want there to be an equal number of drivers and passengers in a given area. Whenever there are more passengers than drivers, the rideshare services will launch a surge to bring drivers to the area.

You will see surges highlighted on the map in your driver apps.


A surge can net you a higher fare, but the surge will also gradually decrease as more drivers arrive at the area. Show up too late, and you’ll miss the surge entirely.

Because surges can be short-lived, you don’t necessarily want to chase them. What you really want to do is anticipate them.

Here are some of the most predictable sources of surges.

The late night bar crowd is sure to cause surges in neighborhoods with a lot of nightlife. You can almost always find passengers in need of a designated driver from 1:30–3:00 AM.

The early morning rush of commuters can cause surges from 6:00–10:00 AM. Depending on your city, you might be able to find workers heading from the suburbs or residential neighborhoods into downtown.

Mornings are also a great time to catch business travelers heading to or arriving at the airport. Be sure to check the Airports tab in Gridwise to see upcoming arrival and departure peaks.

Large events letting out can also cause surges. Sporting events, concerts, and theatre events could contain hundreds or thousands of people looking for rides.

Check the Events tab in Gridwise to see upcoming events in your area. You can save events that you don’t want to forget about, and even set a reminder to alert you when they let out.

While driving in the rain can be frustrating, rain storms will often cause a surge of passengers who would rather get a ride than walk in the rain or wait outside for public transportation.

You can check the weather in Gridwise to see if there will be rain later in the day, and even have the app alert you when a storm is about to happen.

Action Items


Open your driver apps and see if there are any surges happening in your area.


Open Gridwise and check the Events tab to see what’s happening in your city. Press the ★ icon to save any events that you think might cause a surge.