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Lyft starts charging wait time fees to late passengers

Uber has had a wait time fee policy since 2016.
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 14: Uber and Lyft stickers are pictured inside a ride share vehicle outside the Massachusetts State House in Boston on Nov. 14, 2019. Many drivers pick up fares for both companies. That boxy delivery truck blocking your lane is just one maddening manifestation of a public failure to adapt to the new convenience economy. The technology built around our desire for instant gratification - Uber and Lyft, DoorDash and Grubhub, the Amazon packages whizzing from distribution centers to our doorsteps - has become the source of huge amounts of new traffic. Hundreds of thousands of these trips would never have happened just a few years ago. But the public policy response has been no match for this challenge, the Globe Spotlight Team has found. In Boston, in fact, the operative policy only enables the offender. It is part of a pattern of delayed or passive public response to our slow-moving crisis in commuting. True, state officials were a nose ahead of the pack in imposing a surcharge on Uber and Lyft rides three years ago - an attempt at the time to make the companies pay their share of transportation costs - but now they have fallen out of the vanguard. Confronted by the powerful ride-share lobby on Beacon Hill, state leaders havent summoned the will or nerve to impose the kind of high fees and stringent limits other cities are using to try to curb the traffic. (Photo by Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Boston Globe via Getty Images
Igor Bonifacic
Igor Bonifacic|@igorbonifacic|January 24, 2023 3:45 PM

Lyft has quietly started charging late fees to customers who make their drivers wait for them. In a recently published support document, the company outlines a policy that will see it add wait time fees to trips where drivers arrive at a pickup location and wait for more than two minutes for a passenger to get into their car.

The fees won’t apply to Shared, Access, Assisted and Car Seat rides, and if a driver cancels on you due to a no-show, you won’t need to pay a wait time penalty on top of a cancellation fee. Additionally, Lyft offers a five-minute grace period for Lux Black and Lux Black XL rides. And if a driver arrives early, the clock won’t start ticking until after the original estimated pickup time.

“Wait time fees help keep our platform running smoothly – try to be on time and ready to meet your driver when they arrive at the pickup location,” the company says. “Additional wait time charges may apply to your trip depending on how busy it is. Wait time fees vary by location.”

Users with disabilities or those who frequently accompany people who may need more time to board a car can request a waiver from the fees from Lyft. The company says those customers can also request refunds for wait fees they may have incurred in the past.

The change aligns Lyft with Uber’s wait time policy, which the latter has had in place since 2016. Notably, those include the terms designed to accommodate riders with disabilities. Last year, Uber settled with the US Department of Justice after the agency accused the company of overcharging passengers with disabilities.

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Lyft starts charging wait time fees to late passengers