A new app feature is coming to Uber that will make the drivers happy. Uber plans to start charge you when a driver has to drive for long before getting to the pickup station which will now help drivers to be compensated for the time they spend on the way before reaching the rider’s location. Also there will be a charge for riders who may be reluctant to wait for slow passengers, or get hit with trip cancellations at the last minute.
For instance a situation where a driver may have to ride from Namboole to pickup a rider in Ntinda surprisingly for a short drive to Wandegeya making a potential fuel loss for the driver who in most cases fails to get a return trip around the Kampala.
Uber recently added a new feature where riders are be able to interact with drivers in a simple chat window that can be accessed on the contact option when a rider’s trip request is accepted by a random driver. In most cases many riders prefer calling their favorite driver to check in at their preferred pickup location still the driver may be a little far from the location which still impacts the drivers income where they have to pay the required Uber commissions as well as accounting for their fuel used on the trip.
According to Uber drivers in Uganda that we’ve interacted with, many riders use referral codes to get free trips while others pay by credit card yet in most cases they need cash in order to refuel for their next trips.
The new feature will help drivers earn more whenever a rider takes long to check-in at the the pickup location whereas a driver who rides long and only the trip to be cancelled by the rider at the last minute will earn more since they would have incurred costs to reach the pickup station and instead bounce when a user cancels the requested trip. However we see a lot many driver abusing this feature as they will always wait for 8 minutes to elapse or use longer routes in order to earn extra.
Therefore with the new feature riders will incur extra costs that will either be deducted on spot in case a rider has a credit card payment option on their account whereas for riders with only cash as their default payment method will be charged on their next trip.
However Uber will charge less rates for the delayed trips that may range from UGX 3,000 to UGX 10,000 depending on the delay time. We are not sure when this feature will roll-out to Uganda, but it shouldn’t take long.