Oct 24, 2017

Uber adds a "long pickup" fee as it works to make drivers happier

A car with both Uber and Lyft signs. Photo: Richard Vogel / AP

Uber's latest move to make its drivers happier is a new fee it will apply when it takes longer than 8 or 11 minutes (depending on the city) to pick up a passenger. This is seemingly designed to make drivers feel less like they're wasting time and gas before they even get to the passenger. The fee will be calculated based on both time and distance.

Why it matters: While Uber told The Verge that it aims to help passengers by incentivizing drivers to go the longer distance to pick them up (if they live in the suburbs, for example), this is could backfire. For one, passengers might opt to not take an Uber ride given the higher fees—and say, hail a Lyft ride, or drive themselves.

It's also not clear how this will play out in urban areas when there's a lot of traffic or a driver shortage. Uber already uses its "surge pricing" mechanism to mitigate some of these situations, so passengers aren't likely to appreciate paying an extra fee just because a sporting event caused traffic and a delayed pick-up.

More: Uber is also rolling out a new passenger cancellation fee. Drivers will now earn either the standard fixed rate fee, or a fee based on time and distance—whichever one is greater.

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Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know so far

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Milwaukee Molson Coors brewery complex on Wednesday, including the shooter, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at an evening press conference with local police.

What's happening: Police said "there is no active threat" just before 6 pm ET, but noted the scene remains active. Police chief Alfonso Morales told reporters that officers have "more than 20 buildings we have to secure" at the complex and they do not currently have all employees accounted for, as more than 1,000 were at the complex during the shooting.

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Live updates: CDC confirms possible community spread of coronavirus

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

U.S. clinicians have found the novel coronavirus in a person who did not recently return from a foreign country nor have contact with a confirmed case, the CDC said Tuesday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

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Trump assigns Pence to lead U.S. coronavirus response

Photo: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced at a press briefing Wednesday evening that he'll be putting Vice President Mike Pence in charge of leading the administration's response to the coronavirus.

The big picture: In the wake of a market sell-off and warnings from health officials that there's a real threat of the coronavirus spreading in the U.S., Trump sought to reassure the nation and Wall Street that the U.S. is "ready" for whatever comes next.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy