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Uber drivers can now charge more for longer pickups

It's part of Uber's ongoing attempts to reform itself as driver-friendly.
Leon Neal/Getty Images

Uber has spent the past few months trying to mend its image and make itself more driver-friendly, and that's certainly true for October -- although it might hit your bank account if you're a passenger. It's adding a slew of features that let drivers charge more for long pickups. They can charge an additional fee if they have to travel a long distance to get you, for one thing. They'll also apply a per-minute late fee if they have to wait longer than 2 minutes at the pickup point, and will earn a cancellation fee if you change your mind after 2 minutes rather than the previous 5. Uber's app will also help drivers avoid tolls during pickups "when possible," and will incorporate tolls into the fare if it's there's no choice.

There is the potential for this to create problems. Many a veteran Uber passenger has had that time when they just couldn't get to the car in time through no fault of their own, or where the driver was technically at the pickup point but stopped at the wrong place due to poor mapping. You'll definitely want to be as ready as you can when you hit that "request" button, since your Uber driver isn't going to cut you much slack.

However, this could ultimately help passengers. If Uber workers are paid more and don't feel jerked around by less-than-considerate customers, they could be more likely to stay on -- that means happier and more experienced drivers. Moreover, the fees for long pickups and tolls should reduce the chances that a driver cancels on you to take a more lucrative fare. You may have to pay more, but it beats waiting longer for an Uber when you're already running late.

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