Friday, 16 November, 2018

New York City forces Uber to add tipping option to its app

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Nellie Chapman | 18 April, 2017, 00:37

However, things might change over the next few months; New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission is proposing Uber and other credit card payment ride services allow the option to tip electronically. So basically, even services that accept payments exclusively through credit cards, will be forced to add an option that will let drivers accept tips through the same channel.

A new New York City regulation could force Uber and other on-demand vehicle services to offer tipping for drivers in their app, a change that could make driving more lucrative in the city.

We have not seen the proposal and look forward to reviewing it. Uber is always striving to offer the best earning opportunity for drivers and we are constantly working to improve the driver experience.

Lyft, Uber's rival ride-sharing app, now has a tipping system and, in March, the company said their drivers made more than $2 million in tips nationwide.

The push to add the tipping option in New York City stemmed from a petition that was organized by the Independent Drivers Guild.

The city's taxi agency has a tip for Uber - make it easier for passengers to give gratuity.

When Uber launched, one of its purported innovations was that there is "no need to tip", but after the company dropped fares and restructured the way drivers are paid, a number of drivers began to cry foul - especially since Lyft and Juno, another competitor, allow in-app tipping.

Tipping can be an important income stream for a professional driver. Analysts say that people are likely to spend more when they're not thinking about what they're spending.

Luiny Tavares, a guild member and e-hail driver, said that tipping makes a difference in his take-home pay. The taxi commission plans to propose its rules on tipping by July, a spokeswoman told Quartz. The proposal could be aimed at Uber, which has so far been wary of introducing just such a feature to its mobile platform. "I found myself having to work longer hours to make the same money", he said.

Rules on tipping are a first step in a larger process to bring some of the income protections given to yellow taxi drivers to those in the for-hire world, the commission said in a statement. There is also 30-day public comment period and public hearing, and a board of commissioners votes on the final rule.

The company, which operates in 74 countries, says it now has 147,000 drivers on the Uber platform in California, accounting for almost one-fourth of its US total.