Uber begins charging customers $1 'Safe Rides Fee'

Looking to help ease the costs of driver background checks and insurance, the on-demand car service adds a new fee to customers' bills.


In the name of safety, Uber has upped its UberX fares by $1. The on-demand car service announced Thursday that starting this week all UberX customers will see an extra "Safe Rides Fee" on their receipts.

"From the beginning, we've always been committed to connecting you with the safest rides on the road," Uber wrote in a blog post. "Starting this week, we'll demonstrate that continued commitment to safety with a dedicated $1 Safe Rides Fee added to uberX fares in United States cities with uberX ridesharing."

Uber says the fee is to help pay for the "increased costs associated with our continued efforts to ensure the safest platform for Uber riders and drivers." These costs include background checks, motor vehicle checks, driver safety education, app safety features, and insurance.

Last month, the ride-sharing service extended its insurance policy after facing growing criticism and a lawsuit over a driver that hit and killed a 6-year-old girl in San Francisco on New Year's Eve. The company's insurance now provides coverage for independent drivers who have their Uber apps online but aren't carrying passengers.

In the past, Uber's insurance didn't cover incidents that happened while the driver was between rides but available for service -- only the driver's personal insurance applied in those cases.

Uber isn't the only on-demand car service that charges customers a safety fee -- the company's top competitor Lyft also charges $1 for what it calls a "Trust and Safety fee."