Dear A.S.S. Editor

Uber has taken steps to punish tardiness in their passengers. In a pilot which was started yesterday, Uber will levy a 20-cent-per-minute charge on passengers if their drivers have to wait longer than three minutes at the pick-up location.

The additional fee, to be paid to the driver, will be pro-rated according to when the passenger finally boards the ride. For example, if a passenger arrives 30 seconds after the wait-time charge kicks in, the fee will be 10 cents. Uber announced that this is to fulfill their aim of making riders and drivers have a smooth experience every time an Uber service is used.

Uber explained on its website that passengers will be sent a notification on their mobile devices when their drivers are reaching the location. It has advised customers to only make a booking when they are near the pick-up location. The 20-cent-per-minute charge applies to the UberX budget service. This charge is higher for Uber’s premium services, such as UberExec, the luxury car option, and UberXL, for larger cars which can seat up to six passengers. For UberExec, the wait-time charge is 45 cents a minute, while for UberXL, it is 35 cents a minute.

Grab already employ similar tactics, although they use a grace period of five minutes, after which a $3 surcharge is applied for every five-minute block. However, neither Grab nor Uber would say if it imposed any penalties for drivers who were late.

Andy Pang

A.S.S. Contributor

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