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Uber tests cutting driver wait time for passengers to 2 minutes

The ride-hailing app wants to cut down on the time drivers waste, idling at the curb.

Uber drivers don't want to wait around. They want to hit the road.


You may soon have two minutes to jump into your waiting Uber instead of a more leisurely five, as the ride-hailing company experiments with a shorter waiting window.

Currently, an Uber driver will wait for you for five minutes with no fee. Under the new policy, being tried out in the US in Phoenix, Dallas, New Jersey and New York, drivers can charge a fee after two minutes. If you're unavoidably held up getting to the car, drivers will still wait five minutes before abandoning the fare.

Under the new policy you will also have two minutes to change your mind after booking a ride, instead of the current five. If you cancel the booking any later than that, you will be charged a cancellation fee.

The move is designed to encourage passengers to meet their cars faster, which would cut down on the unpaid time drivers spend waiting around and would enable them to squeeze in more fares. While it must be frustrating for drivers to be left twiddling their thumbs -- especially when Uber cuts their rates -- two minutes isn't a long time to spot an unfamiliar car, especially if your phone's GPS is slightly off or you have to, say, cross a busy street to get to it.

Oh, and don't forget to tip your driver.