Uber as a service has helped to revolutionize the way people get around. At the core of what it offers, it's not really different from any taxi service that's been around for decades, but the convenience of being able to open up an app and request a ride in most major cities around the globe, then pay for the ride using a mobile payment solution instead of cash has helped make Uber incredibly popular. Uber is only as effective as its drivers, though, and for those drivers to be effective they need to be on the road with fares in the backseat, which they aren't able to do if they sitting around waiting for passengers to arrive at the requested destination.
To help counteract this potential loss of income for drivers Uber is enacting a couple of new policy changes starting from today. The first of these changes in helping drivers recuperate any lost funds from waiting on passengers has to do with wait times. If drivers are waiting longer than two minutes Uber will begin to charge fees to the passenger to help with money lost from not being able to get back on the road and driving towards another fare. Uber states that they recommend passengers only request rides once they're ready to go, but they know that sometimes life happens and people run late, which is why they've made this part of the policy so both riders and passengers can benefit from this particular situation.
Also part of the new policy changes is a lower cancellation time period. Before today, riders had five minutes to cancel a requested ride if they decided for any reason that they didn't need it right then and there. Uber is changing the cancellation time and taking it down to two minutes, as they've observed that on average this is a sufficient amount of time for riders to realize whether or not they need to cancel. At the moment, Uber is only rolling these changes out in a handful of cities as a pilot, and will look at rolling the changes out globally if they end up making a positive impact. Currently, Uber is testing the changes in Pheonix, New York, Dallas, and New Jersey. While these changes are more geared towards drivers than riders, Uber recently rolled out Trip Branding to help riders get a more personalized experience with Uber through other apps that they already use.