Does Uber Charge for Waiting in Traffic?

Uber Time Rate


People don’t like paying unexpected charges.  That’s probably why you’ve found yourself here.  You could planning a trip and trying to figure out how much it’s going to cost.  Does Uber charge for waiting in traffic?  Yes, they absolutely do.  It’s called the Uber time rate.  All things being equal, the more time you spend on your ride, the more expensive that it’s going to be.

We’ll use a few examples below to show you exactly what the different rates would be for an average distance trip in normal traffic, and a longer trip in a higher traffic area.  The good news is there are a number of factors involved in determining the amount that a trip will cost.  Time is only one of them.


Here’s an example:

Cost of Waiting in Traffic with Uber:  JFK to Laguardia


We’ll use JFK to Laguardia as an example.  It’s 9.7 miles between the two. It’s normally about a 20 minute drive, but in rush hour you could end up sitting for in the car for 30 or 40 minutes.  What would that look like in the way of rate fluctuation?  Not too much.

Most of an Uber ride is going to be a fixed cost, so in our example, there’s nothing that can be done about the base fare and the distance fare (unless you and your driver agree to reroute to avoid whatever traffic is causing the delay).  The variable is going to be in the rate per minute.  If the amount of time doubles to get to Laguardia, the Uber ride is going to cost 7 more dollars.


20 Minute Drive 40 Minute Drive
Base Fare (Fixed Cost) $2.55 $2.55
9.7 miles x $1.75 per mile (Fixed Cost) $16.97 $16.97
Rate Per Minute $  $0.35 (Variable) 20 min x $0.35 = $7.00 20 min x $0.35 = $14.00
Total $26.52 $33.52



Uber Time Rate

The whole reason that a Uber fare is a projection and not an absolute is the time rate.  The longer that the trip takes, the higher that the time rate is going to be.  The best way to beat the time rate is to schedule your ride when it’s not peak travel time.  Otherwise, you can run up the clock and the ride will get more expensive.


Does Uber Charge for waiting in traffic
This table was used to calculate the example. It was fetched on March 30’th 2018.

Does Uber Charge Per Person?

One of the most frequent questions that people want to know about taking an Uber ride is, does Uber charge per person?

Does Uber Charge Per Person

The Answer:  No, Uber does not charger per person.  BUT, there are limits to the amounts of passengers that different versions of Uber will let you take.  Keep that in mind.  Below is a chart of the Uber passenger limits for the different services that they offer.  None of these services charge on a per person basis.


Uber Passenger Limits

UberBlack 4 Riders
UberX 4 Riders
UberSelect 4 Riders
UberXL 6 Riders
Uber SUV 6 Riders


Click here to find out how much your ride would cost straight from Uber:


How to Request Uber for Two Passengers

There is nothing special you need to do to get a ride for 2 or more passengers with Uber.  The only time that you may have any trouble is if you are wishing to split the fare directly within the Uber ecosystem.  It’s usually more convenient to work it out amongst yourselves if you are riding with friends.  But if that’s not the case, or if there are other factors, it is totally possible to split the fare in app with UberPool.  The Pool service lets you split the fare much like you would splitting the fare with a taxi.  There’s a quarter fee for each additional splitter of the fare.

UberPool is really designed for people who might be leaving the same sporting event at the same time to take an Uber in the same direction.  During the time that they are both in the car at the same time it effectively cuts the fare in two, making it far and away the most cost effective way to Uber anywhere.


How does Uber charge you than?

Uber uses a complex rate structure to keep its pricing in line with the demand for rides at any given time.  If there are a lot people looking for a ride at the same time, it uses something called “surge” pricing.  Surge pricing is an example of basic supply and demand.  For instance, there’s never going to be enough Ubers available right after a ballgame, this is when surge pricing comes into play.  The theory is that with the more expensive price you will choose UberPool to split the fare since there’s a much better chance that someone is heading in your direction anyway.

Here are some other factors that do affect Uber price, even if they don’t charge per person:

  • Base Fair– The amount of money that you pay regardless of distance.  You owe this the second you start to move.
  • Booking Fee–  Usually a couple of bucks, you owe this when you book the service.
  • Per Mile–  This is the fee that you pay per mile.  Varies depending on what’s going on in the market at any particular time.
  • Per Minute–  This is the fee that you pay per minute.  It helps keep a longer trip over a shorter distance priced competitively with an all highway trip of a longer distance.

Conclusion:  Does Uber charge per person?

While Uber does not charge you per person, there are several factors that go into a complex formula to ensure that your ride cost stays competitive.  You can freely share an Uber with friends and know that you’ll be saving a ton of money by doing so.