SINGAPORE - Ride-hailing company Ryde will begin charging passengers $4.30 when they cancel their booking or show up late from Wednesday (Oct 20).
The firm said in a statement on Tuesday that this was to protect the interests of its drivers, who take time to get to destinations and lose profits when passengers dawdle.
It said the $4.30 figure was fair to the drivers and reasonable to passengers.
Passengers who cancel a booking 15 minutes before the scheduled trip and those who reach the pickup point within four minutes of the driver arriving will not be charged.
"When a change in plan is unavoidable, we are ensuring that our drivers are properly compensated," said Ryde founder and chief executive Terence Zou.
"We recognise that drivers are key partners of our business, and it is essential that we take care of their welfare," he added.
The fees will be rolled out gradually over the next three weeks and charges will be automatically deducted from customers' Ryde wallet balance or credit card.
Passengers of the RydeTaxi service, which allows taxi drivers from other companies to receive bookings through the Ryde app, are exempted from the fees.
The company added: "Ryde's new initiative... ensures that it is fair to (customers) and there are ample measures to safeguard their interests. Most riders are able to reach their pickup points within the (four-minute time allowance) without great difficulty."
Ryde is not the first ride-hailing company to institute cancellation and late arrival fees.
Grab currently charges passengers a $4 cancellation fee if they cancel after five minutes of securing a booking on its app, or if drivers are made to wait more than five minutes at the agreed pickup location.
Gojek's policy is the same, except that passengers will also be charged $4 if they cancel when the driver has reached the pickup location within five minutes of the booking going through.
Both companies have said their policies are to make the experience fairer to drivers and so that drivers and passengers are matched more efficiently.