Uber adds option to tip drivers

Joy Montgomery
June 21, 2017

The ride-hailing company on Tuesday launched the new tipping feature in three US cities, including Seattle, as part of a broader initiative to improve its relationship with drivers. Along with that milestone, Lyft updated its app to prompt riders to tip $2, $5, and $10 instead of $1, $2, and $5 for rides that cost more than $25. It will roll out on Tuesday in Seattle, Minneapolis and Houston and expected to expand to all US cities by the end of July.

The absence of a convenient tipping service for Uber customers has put the company's drivers in a bad position.

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.

On that note, other features are also rolling out in the app, such as the ability to pay additional money to drivers as a "waiting" fee if you aren't quite ready when they arrive. Drivers will also start the clock on fares if a rider hops into the auto more than two minutes late. For the next 180 days (and beyond) we'll be making meaningful changes & improvements to your driving experience. Uber earlier this month fired 20 employees, including executives, for their behavior.

Uber has been the only major company in the ride-hailing industry to not include tips as an in-app feature.

A more extensive report from the law firm of former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder chastised Uber's leadership and recommended changes that Uber's board adopted.

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New York City-based advocacy group Independent Drivers Guild praised the decision to add in-app tipping, which it claimed was a result of its lobbying efforts. Go to your emailed receipt or trip history within the app, or visit riders.uber.com or help.uber.com to do so.

Introduce a new "driver destinations" feature that will allow drivers to pick up fares along the routes they take to and from their home or work.

Uber announced on Thursday a series of changes created to meet various requests made by its drivers.

It's hard to determine whether Uber's misdeeds have cost ridership nationally.

As Gizmodo notes, the "seamless", no-cash, non-tipping structure of Uber was an early selling point of the service, and through previous year the company continued to insist, "Tipping is not included, nor is it expected or required". By the end of April, Uber's share rose to 57.2 percent, but Lyft grew 2.2 percentage points to 11.7, according to data from the Taxi and Limousine Commission. She drives for both Uber and Lyft around the Seattle area roughly 10 hours a week to cover extra expenses such as traveling. Uber was valued at almost $70 billion the last time it raised money.

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