In a bid to increase efficiency, Uber is introducing wait-time charges in Singapore. Since time is money, Uber will be charging riders that make their drivers wait unnecessarily. If everyone shows up on time, this could reduce drivers’ idle time which could translate to more rides each day.
The wait-time charges will kick in after 3 minutes upon the arrival of the driver. On UberX, Uber charges S$0.20/minute and it costs S$0.30/minute on UberXL. The charges go up with more premium options with the going rate of S$0.45/minute on UberEXEC and S$0.60/minute on EXECLarge. The charges are pro-rated which means that if the total wait time is only 30 seconds on UberX after the charges kick-in, you’ll be charged S$0.10.
According to Uber Singapore’s blog post, the charges are also subject to dynamic pricing so it could be more expensive when the demand is high. To avoid unfair charges, no wait-time charges will apply if the driver has not reached your location.
Uber has rolled out Wait Time charges in several cities and this appears to be the first implementation in our region. Rival Grab car has also introduced a similar feature in Singapore at a rate of S$3 for every 5 minutes after a 5-minute grace period.
If you wish to avoid such charges, just request for a ride only when you’re ready and you’re near the pickup location. From what we know, Uber Malaysia currently allows its drivers to start the trip after 5 minutes of waiting. Do you think Uber and Grab should introduce wait time charges in Malaysia? Let us know in the comments below.