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.