How to avoid high bills, dangerous rides on New Years Eve

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 30, 2014) -- If you plan to hail a cab or use a ride sharing service like Uber on New Year's Eve, city officials warn you to plan ahead.

Josh Smith, with Indianapolis Code Enforcement, told FOX59 he did expect complaints on Thursday once the partying is over.

"The more information you can get to us, the easier it is to resolve the complaint," Smith said.

Many complaints don't include any information about the driver or the cab number, making it impossible to investigate, according to Smith.

"They just know they got in a cab and they got home," Smith said.

Another potential issue could be high rates. Standard taxi drivers must adhere to city rates, posted inside their cabs. They cannot charge a flat rate unless its an agreed-upon deal between the rider and driver ahead of time.

"If you get in the cab and they say, 'I'm not going to turn the meter on, it's a flat rate of $50,' that's not acceptable," Smith said.

The city and state do not regulate ride sharing services, like Uber, though. The company posted a video on its website explaining surge pricing, based on demand. Some national reports suggest that peak times on New Year's Eve could push prices up to seven times the normal rate.

"The fact that surge pricing is in place is communicated repeatedly to a user – and requires confirmation – before the user can request the trip," an Uber spokesperson told FOX59 by email.

Smith suggested that you snap a photo of the cab number and driver's license displayed on the inside, just in case there's an issue. You can report a complaint by emailing the city or calling (317) 327-TAXI. More information is at the link here.

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