Uber Is Finally Giving You The Option To Tip Drivers

21 June 2017, 02:01 | Andres Norman

Uber adds option to tip drivers as it heads in a new direction

Uber Adds Option to Tip Drivers as it Heads in New Direction

On Tuesday, Uber announced it has begun allowing users in a handful of USA cities to tip their drivers from directly within the app, with plans to roll it out across the rest of the country by the end of July.

In addition to tipping, Uber will shorten the free cancellation period from five minutes to two minutes, meaning drivers are more likely to secure a cancellation fee.

Uber announced said it would be implementing a number of changes across its system which should "make driving more flexible and less stressful", in an email sent to drivers on Tuesday. Uber also is fighting allegations that it's relying on a key piece of technology stolen from Google spin-off Waymo to build a fleet of self-driving cars. Other features will roll out in August, including a driver destination feature first tested in Miami that enables drivers on the way to work or home to easily pick up riders going the same way, said Kasra Moshkani, general manager of Uber Florida.

The public reaction will likely be mixed, as it has been on Twitter, with consumers divided between wanting to pay drivers well and wanting the Uber model to remain the same. Uber also said Kalanick was taking an indefinite leave amid criticism of his management style and following the death of his mother in a boating accident.

Back in April, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission granted a petition by the city's Independent Drivers Guild - a union affiliate representing 50,000 app-based drivers - to create a rule that would require ride-hailing services to add in-app tipping, a move that could ultimately have had a ripple effect nationwide.

In a recent report on Uber drivers called "The Faceless Boss", NPR reporter Aarti Shahani surveyed 1,000 drivers and found that the company's drivers had a few overarching complaints. "In expanding so quickly, we failed to prioritize the people that helped get us here". The company so far has prevailed in that battle. The new feature is part of Uber's "180 Days Of Change".

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It's hard to determine whether Uber's misdeeds have cost ridership nationally. We were proud to lead the way on this fight on behalf of drivers in New York City and across the nation.

The biggest surprise: Uber is adding tips, starting today.

A rider boycott in late January knocked Uber ridership down to 52.7 per cent, while Lyft grew to a 12.8 per cent share.

By adding in-app tips, Uber can't erase months of bad publicity, but it can win some favor with drivers, who have long criticized Uber for treating them poorly.

A backlash could deepen Uber's losses, which totalled $2.8 billion a year ago.

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