Image: Gabrielle Lurie (AP)
Be on time for your next Lyft, as The Verge reports that the ridesharing company quietly added a new fee that’ll charge riders for making their drivers wait.
First discovered by Techcrunch in December, Lyft’s move shouldn’t be surprising. Uber has had a similar fee now for over years, so it was only a matter of time before Lyft followed suit. According to the support page, the fees are pretty straightforward.
Fees start accruing two minutes after your driver arrives, and continue to accumulate on a per-minute basis after that two-minute mark. If you went fancy and ordered a Lyft Lux Black or Lux Black XL, you get the VIP treatment with a full five minutes before the wait charges start. If your driver manages to get there before the estimated arrival time, the charges start two minutes after the original time estimate. Lyft claims these fees “keep the platform running smoothly.”
A big part is knowing who won’t be charged and when you won’t be charged, which Lyft touches on:
If your ride is canceled and you’re charged a cancellation fee, you won’t be charged for wait time. Wait time fees do not apply to:
- Lyft Shared
- Lyft Access
- Lyft Assisted
- Car Seat rides
Still, those with disabilities are in for a headache. You’ll still get charged the wait fee, you’ll just have to put in for a fee waiver that will either get you a refund that takes an unknown amount of time or through an account waiver that’ll keep your account from being charged the fees as a result of the disability.
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One glaring piece of information in all this is missing, however. Lyft didn’t exactly say how much they’re charging per minute. I reached out to Lyft for more information and got…no information. I was told that all the information about the wait time fees is on the support page. Which is to say that Lyft won’t share how much they’ll be charging per minute.
They may have a bit more explaining to do though. While their support page says that the fee is charged on a per-minute basis, some customers are reporting that’s not the case. One Twitter user tweeted a screenshot of a recent ride receipt showing he was charged a $0.58 wait time fee for making the driver wait 49 seconds.
While Lyft took its time implementing a policy similar to Uber, it may want to be careful just how they go about it. As The Verge pointed out, Uber’s policy caught the attention of the Justice Department, who eventually sued the ridesharing company over allegations its wait fee discriminated against those with disabilities. The suit resulted in Uber having to repay millions in fees to disabled customers.