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Sydney train chaos sparks wild $300 Uber fares: 'SHAME ON YOU'

Some riders say their fares more than tripled, leaving them either stranded in the city or facing a very expensive journey home.

Commuters trapped in Sydney’s CBD after a major train outage are calling out Uber for taking advantage of the situation, charging travellers hundreds, in some cases, to get home.

As the peak afternoon rush began on Wednesday afternoon, all trains were stopped at platforms for roughly an hour due to a network-wide communication issue.

The issue left thousands of commuters stuck at the city’s stations, with many turning to the ride-sharing giant as an alternate way home – only to find the prices had skyrocketed.

Sea of commuters waiting for replacement bus at Central Station.
Sea of commuters waiting for replacement bus at Central Station. Source: Twitter / Matty Orzlowski
Blank screens at Central station.
Blank screens at Central station. Source: Twitter / Jonathan Row

One woman’s trip from the city to Revesby was estimated to cost her $291.69 for an UberX fare, while the same trip in a ‘business comfort’ class would set her back $321.62.

“@Uber shame on you!!!! Sydney trains being down is not your excuse to do this,” she wrote on Twitter.

She claimed the usual fare would cost between $70 and $80.

Uber responded to her post, citing “high demand” for surging prices.

“We’re sorry to hear the price was higher than expected,” the company said.

“Looks like there was a high demand for rides near your selected pickup location. When there is high demand, the trip price is updated to encourage drivers to come to that area.”

Train services were restored at around 4pm though major delays are still expected.

Passengers are being advised to delay their travel where possible during Wednesday peak hour or seek alternative transport.

"Trains on the Sydney rail network and intercity lines are stopped at platforms," Transport for NSW said in a statement shortly after 3.30pm.

"Crews are working to fix the issue as quickly as possible but there is no forecast.

"Passengers already travelling on the rail network are advised to listen to announcements and check information displays for service updates."

A Transport for NSW spokesman said the issue stemmed from a failure in the digital train radio system which occurred around 2.45pm.

Commuters waiting for replacement buses at Lidcombe train station.
Commuters waiting for replacement buses at Lidcombe train station. Source: Twitter / Tom Flow

"This is the digital radio system that connects the train crew with the signaller and our rail operations centre," he said.

"As a result for safety reasons we have had to halt trains at platforms until we can reboot the system."

All trains were able to be moved safely to platforms and no people were stranded in carriages, the spokesman said.

"Engineers are on site and looking at the system fault and determining if we implement a back-up system located at Homebush.

"We are advising people to avoid train travel now and we will update when the system is back up and running."

- with AAP

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