School Closings and Cancellations

Always making your Uber driver wait? Get ready for a new late fee

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Photo Illustration by David Ramos/Getty Images

NEW YORK — Uber wants passengers to show up or pay up.

The on-demand car service app says it’s testing a new program in certain locations where customers will be charged a fee if the driver is still waiting two minutes after arriving at the pickup location. Uber had been giving passengers a five minute window.

So if you’re about to get into an Uber and you’re seven minutes late, you’ll be charged an extra five minutes for the ride. Previously, you would have been charged just two minutes extra.

Drivers are still required to wait five minutes before they can charge customers a no-show fee.

Uber is also charging a cancellation fee if a customer cancels a pickup two minutes after a request. That grace period was also previously five minutes. Those fees can range from $5 to $10 depending on the city. (They are not applied if a customer cancels a request because the app provided longer than expected pickup times.)

The pilot program is taking place in Phoenix, Dallas, New Jersey and New York City for now.

The two-minute grace period has already been the policy for uberPool rides where multiple passengers split the cost of a trip.

Uber says its cancellation fee is charged to compensate drivers for their time.

“Drivers’ time is valuable, and while we expect riders to request a ride only once they’re ready, we know that waiting for a rider at their pickup location can be frustrating,” the company said in a statement.

Uber also says that being late or canceling rides hamper the service’s ability to deploy drivers “efficiently.”

But the policy change might rub some customers the wrong way. Uber competitor Lyft still has a five minute wait-and-see policy and passengers may prefer to use that service instead.

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