Lyft is now charging riders for making drivers wait

Rideshare giant Lyft has joined its biggest competitor in charging "wait time" fees for riders who make their drivers wait more than two minutes.

According to Lyft, the fees kick in two minutes after a driver arrives, but Lyft hasn’t said exactly how much it will charge for each second a driver has to wait. The company said fees vary based on location. The wait time for Lyft Lux Black and Lux Black XL is five minutes, and the wait fees don’t apply to Lift Shared, Lyft Access, Lyft Assisted and car seat rides.

"Wait time fees help keep our platform running smoothly," Lyft said in a recent blog post.

Uber, a Lyft competitor, added wait time fees in a few cities in April 2016, eventually implementing them nationwide.

READ MORE: Uber hit with lawsuit by 500 women over allegations of sexual assault

The U.S. Justice Department sued Uber in November 2021, claiming the wait time fees discriminate against disabled people who take longer to get into vehicles.

READ MORE: Uber's ADA violation forces company to pay millions to 65,000 users

Uber said at the time that the average wait time fee charged to riders is less than 60 cents. The government accused Uber of charging the fees even when the company was aware that it was a disability-related delay. Uber later said that wait fees would be waived for anyone who certifies they are disabled.  

The company also agreed to pay millions of dollars to the 65,000 riders with disabilities who were charged. 

Lyft’s policy is nearly identical. Riders with disabilities can request a waiver to be exempt from wait time fees. Anyone with a disability who has been charged a wait fee can be refunded for previous charges.

To request a wait time refund, Lyft says use the "Contact Us" button in the app.