Chinese New Year is upon us and the great migration has already begun. Those who stay in Beijing will find more than a few obstacles to daily life; even getting from point A to point B is more complicated because many of the city’s migrant Didi drivers are returning home for the break, throwing the supply and demand curve for the rideshare economy completely out of whack.
Didi is ahead of the game though, already preparing to address the situation by once again passing the bill off to you, dear rider.
That’s right, hailing a Didi won’t just take longer during the holiday season (with hailing success rate expected to fall 16 percent), it will also be more expensive, with the app automatically adding surcharge as a gratuity to the driver for sticking around and working during Spring Festival.
The surcharge will be applied from Tuesday, Jan 21 until Monday, Feb 3 and will apply to all types of rides, including carpooling. Expect to pay up to an extra RMB 9 per ride during this period.
For those traveling to other parts of China for the break, the simultaneous calling feature, allowing users to hail multiple types of rides at the same, will be made available across an additional 170 more cities for the holiday, so there’s a good chance you’ll be able to use it elsewhere. However, note that neither simultaneous calling nor carpooling are available in the English version of the app.
One more handy feature (presumably, also available only in the Chinese version of the app) is the “Spring Festival Rider Guide.” Starting from Jan 17, users will be able to check this in-app guide for up-to-date information on average hailing success rates as well as the most difficult times and areas to hail a car.
Tips for snagging a cab
If you are wary of getting around during the holiday and simply can’t stand public transportation, here are a few tips on how to handle the hecticness of the holiday:
- Set up in a coffee shop where you feel comfortable to wait a little while and hail the ride from there.
- Estimate the distance you can walk in the estimated pick up time, and set your pick up location accordingly. That is, if you’re willing to get a bit of exercise.
- Start tipping drivers now. Rumor has it that the algorithm favors riders who tip regularly, so if you want to secure a better place in line, leave your shifu a couple of extra kuai after the next few rides you take.
Stay safe out there
Didi has also given their own advice about how to stay safe as your ride. They recommend that you add an emergency contact in the app, share your status with others when riding, and be aware of the app’s “call police” function in case anything should happen. For more information, see their holiday safety guide here.
Got any more advice on how to get a ride during the holiday season? Leave your thoughts below!
Image: Pan Daily