Passengers who keep their Uber driver waiting will pay for their tardiness. This week the ride hailing giant said it will start paying drivers whose wait times exceed two minutes, and riders will foot the bill.
Previously riders had five minutes to get to their vehicle, but Uber this week on its Behind the Wheel blog announced it was changing its policy in an effort to make the Uber experience "as rewarding and stress-free as possible" for drivers and help them "get the most out of your time on the road."
The company also said changes to it app will allow drivers to pause rider requests while they finish a trip or take a break to get something to eat, and send them ride requests only that are along their commuting route.
The new features are being tested out in select cities across the country, but Uber didn't say in which markets. But the company said it's already seeing the impact of its new late rider fee. "We’ve seen that riders are more likely to be prompt."
Drivers also can get paid more frequently. The company has expanded its Instant Pay to all U.S. markets, meaning drivers can view their earnings and get a paycheck by using an Uber debit card to transfer funds.
Another perk: drivers can get discounts when they use the app to be a passenger. A survey found that 25 percent of Uber drivers also use the service to get around. Drivers who are part of this pilot get 15 percent off an uberX ride for every 10 trips they complete in a week, or 50 percent off an UberBLACK ride for every 20 trips done in a week. "So go ahead — be a backseat driver," the company said.
In recent months Uber also piloted in-app phone support and launched Fuel Finder and Driver Rewards program to make it easier for drivers to save money at the pump, on oil changes and cell phone plans.