Uber will finally let its drivers accept tips

Wednesday, 21 Jun, 2017

Uber said it hopes to bring tipping to all cities by the end of July. Sure, you can give the person ferrying you through rush-hour traffic some cash if you've got it on hand, but until now, Uber hasn't offered an easy way to extend a monetary thank you to your driver within its app (in the way that competitor Lyft has).

To say that Uber is having a tough time right now would be an understatement.

They will be charged by the minute if they kept an Uber auto waiting for more than two minutes and the company was reducing the time allowed to cancel a ride from five to two minutes.

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Uber's announcement comes on the heels of Lyft celebrating that its drivers have collectively earned more than $250 million in tips.

The expanded earnings opportunities are the first step in what Uber is billing as "180 days of change" for its US drivers.

Uber won't take any of the tip money.

Eventually, Uber will expand its tipping option nationwide. "I have tipped my Uber driver, I've tipped my Lyft drivers and they've accepted it", customer Jon Craig said.

"There's been no good reason for Uber not to include a tip function on its app; they have been doing this for a long time to undercut the competition and make it seem cheaper", Liss-Riordan added.

This is not the only new feature that benefits drivers that Uber announced today.

While Uber settled in April of a year ago, in order for drivers to remain independent contractors, the company was forced to pay out $84 million to the approximately 385,000 drivers represented in the suit.

Amid the criticism, Uber lost $2.8 billion past year, and another $708 million in the first quarter of 2017.

RideAustin, one of several small companies that started operations in Austin after the ride-hailing giants left the city in May 2016, is now seeing its ridership cut in half since the two returned to town.

Today, Uber is committing to "180 Days of Change" for drivers.

Uber drivers are independent contractors, not employees, and lack paid sick leave and vacation, and must pay for vehicle maintenance and other costs. "We know there's a long road ahead, but we won't stop until we get there", Schildkrout and Holt said. If a driver waits for a rider for more than two minutes, he or she will also be able to collect a per-minute wait time rate.

Riders can select from tip amounts that pop up on the app once the trip is completed or add in a custom amount.