On Tuesday, Uber announced its latest change, long distance pick up fees. Yes, this means Uber will now charge passengers an extra fee when it takes a driver around eight minutes or more to come pick them up.
The new fee was released under Uber's "180 Days of Change" program in an attempt to give Uber drivers more driving incentives.
This extra fee will effect those living out of the city in less populated areas where drivers are more spread out. While it may frustrate suburban riders that an extra fee will be tacked onto their Uber rides, there is a plus side. Paying drivers more to pick up riders who are farther away will incentivize drivers to leave cities for suburban areas making it very likely that the next time you go to order an Uber 20 minutes outside of your city you may find multiple drivers ready and eager to pick up your fare.
1. Fees are calculated based on standard time and distance rates.
2. Fees only start accruing after the predetermined Long Pickup Threshold (typically anywhere from 8-11 minutes). In other words the first 8-11 minutes of drive time that your driver is on their way to you will still be free. After that point you will be charged your cities time and distance rates.
3. Long Pickup Fees only apply to UberX and UberPOOL rides.
4. Long Pickup Fees will not apply when Uber is surging or when a driver is completing a driver destination trip.
5. The maximum fee for Long Pickup Fees in all cities is $20.
6. Long Pickup Fees do count towards your rides minimum fare.
While this new driver incentive may ultimately help suburban riders to get matched with a driver quicker, there is always the worry that drivers will take advantage of this new set up by purposely taking a longer route to pick up passengers. Uber has stated that "Long Pickups Fees may be reduced if it is determined that a driver has not made progress towards the pickup point at a reasonable pace or route". We will see how this plays out!