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Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Uber will begin experimenting next week with a new pricing scheme in 10 U.S. cities aimed at shifting ride-hailing demand away from city centers — and making more off each ride that does originate in an urban core.

Why it matters: Uber, like its rival Lyft, is under pressure to show it can turn a profit, and drivers have long complained of falling or inconsistent earnings. The move could help address both concerns while also nodding to criticism that ride-sharing apps have exacerbated urban congestion.

How it works:

  • Rates will go up by about 5% for trips starting in city centers and decrease by about 10% for those starting in outer areas.
  • This applies both to driver earnings and passenger fares.
  • The cities: Charlotte, Phoenix, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Honolulu, Cleveland, Charleston, Richmond, Nashville, and Grand Rapids.

What they're saying:

We are testing raising prices near city centers, where it’s busier and harder to get a ride, while decreasing prices in surrounding areas — including in neighborhoods with fewer transportation options — to help riders request more trips. The goal of this pilot is to improve reliability in the busiest parts of these cities, while making it more affordable to use Uber outside the city center. 
— Uber spokesperson

Yes, but: Fare cuts have historically not been a pleasant PR experience for Uber. Its (now-defunct) annual January cuts were usually met with protests from drivers who felt they were being short-changed so the company could grow its bottom line.

  • And as with some fare cuts in the past, there's a chance this may not have the desired effect everywhere.

Go deeper

Pipeline hack spotlights cyber risks to energy systems

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The ransomware attack against the Colonial Pipeline — the massive East Coast gasoline artery — is a stunning real-world example of the increasing risks that the energy sector faces from a cyberattack.

Why it matters: Different parts of the vast American energy system are vulnerable — from pipelines to power grids to individual power plants and plenty in between.

53 mins ago - Technology

Scoop: TikTok launching jobs service for Gen Z

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

TikTok is testing a tool for brands to recruit employees, sources tell Axios.

Details: The pilot program is designed to help people find jobs on TikTok and connect with companies looking to find candidates. It's also meant to help brands use TikTok as a recruitment channel.

Crypto media boom

Data: SimilarWeb; Chart: Axios Visuals

A slew of new crypto media companies have gained enormous traction over the past year, thanks to the digital currency craze taking over Wall Street.

Why it matters: “For the first time ever, crypto has become relevant to the global macro-economic conversation, and therefore, the investment conversation," says Jason Yanowitz, co-founder of Blockworks, a financial media brand catered to investors.