SINGAPORE – Ride-hailing service provider Gojek is following its rival Grab in imposing a waiting time charge. From Sept 26, passengers will have four minutes to reach the pickup point before a waiting fee of $3 will be applied.

An additional $3 is charged for every five minutes the driver has to wait thereafter. The total fee chargeable for waiting is capped at $9.

The announcement was made on Gojek’s website on Monday.

Previously, Gojek had a five-minute grace period for passengers to make a free cancellation. Together with the introduction of the waiting fee, the grace period is now cut by a minute.

A $4 fee is applicable if the passenger cancels the booking four minutes after a driver has been matched or as soon as the driver has arrived at the pickup location. It is also chargeable if the driver cancels after waiting for more than four minutes at the pickup point. The driver is not able to cancel the ride earlier than this amount of time without being penalised.

The platform advises passengers who expect to be significantly late for the pickup to cancel their bookings and request for a trip only when they are ready to go.

Gojek said that if it is the driver who cancels the trip, it will immediately try to match a new driver for the ride.

The fees and time periods apply for all trips on the Gojek platform, namely GoCar, GoCar XL and GoCar Premium. The fees cannot be paid for or off-set with vouchers.

Gojek said that the fees “help ensure a smooth experience for all users”, including compensating the drivers for their time and effort.

Passengers can request for reviews through the Gojek app if they were charged waiting or cancellation fees wrongly.

The move comes two months after Grab cut the grace period from five to three minutes. Since July, Grab charges a $3 penalty for every block of three minutes that a passenger makes its driver wait. When the announcement was made in July, Gojek said that it would continue to omit waiting fees for customers.