A series of new Uber features that Bloomberg characterizes as aimed at appeasing (now litigious) drivers (without increasing lowered fares for them) are set to debut. For riders, the most pertinent among them won't be particularly welcome: New charges for keeping drivers waiting for more than two minutes, which we first heard about in April.
"Your time is valuable," Uber addresses drivers on its company blog, "so it’s frustrating when riders run late or cancel when you’re already at the pickup location. We’ve been trying something new: paying drivers for wait times that exceed two minutes. In the cities where we’ve been testing this, we’ve seen that riders are more likely to be prompt. We’ll be expanding the policy to a dozen U.S. cities this month, with more coming soon." So far, cities with wait time charges have been New York City, New Jersey, Phoenix, and Dallas according to the Verge's reporting. Those fees kicked in this past April in NYC, and rates have varied by city, as they will continue to do.
A few others features geared toward drivers are also on the way, perks Harry Campbell's popular Uber blog the Rideshare Guy calls "low-hanging fruit." Uber drivers can get paid immediately from anywhere in the US in a change first tested in San Francisco, a feature already available with rival Lyft. Also new: Until now, when completing their last fare, drivers have been required to manually decline requests for more rides. Now they can hit a pause button and forget being pestered when they're getting ready to end their shift. Drivers can also expect to see gas prices at stations listed within the app and to receive new coupons for ride discounts themselves.