California

Uber to Drop Upfront Pricing, Let Users Choose ‘Favorite Drivers’

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Uber sent an email to riders Thursday detailing some changes the company says are intended to keep as many drivers on the road as possible. But it means users won’t always know what their ride will cost until it’s over.

Uber is being upfront about the changes as it responds to a new California law that defines who is a full-time employee and who is a contract worker. Many ride-hailing drivers have been fighting for that reclassification in order to get benefits, going so far as to seek class action status in federal court.

Here’s what the Uber changes mean for users:

  • If you take non-pool rides, your fare will be calculated at end of the ride; no more upfront pricing.
  • Drivers can reject your ride request without penalty after seeing the time, distance and estimated fare
  • You will now be able to schedule rides with "favorite drivers" after giving them a 5-star rating
  • Those drivers can accept or refuse the rides
  • Some Uber rewards are discontinued, including flexible cancellations for California users and price protection on routes

Uber detailed all of the changes in an email to users, adding that other changes are still in the works.

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