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

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

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

In an email to drivers on Tuesday, Uber said that it will add more driver-friendly changes to its app over the next six months.

Every dollar a rider tips will go straight to the driver, Uber said in a news release Tuesday.

The tipping option, long available in the app of Uber rival Lyft, will be available beginning Tuesday in three cities - Seattle, Houston and Minneapolis.

After Uber's announcement earlier in the day, Lyft tweeted that they are "closing in on 1,800 days of in-app tipping" and surpassed more than $250 million in tips.

All U.S. drivers will be able to receive tips by July 31.

Also, proposals have been put forward by the The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) that would have forced the company to add the feature or risk having its drivers banned from the city's roads. Holt is part of the leadership team running Uber with CEO Travis Kalanick on a leave of absence.

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

Meanwhile, Uber is fighting legal battles over whether drivers should be classified as Uber employees or as independent contractors.

Uber has launched the "180 Days of Change" campaign that includes allowing customers to tip drivers, something its top competitor Lyft has been doing all along. Uber officials previously rejected the idea, saying tipping would introduce a measure of "uncertainty" to the price of a ride.

"I've always been frustrated by Uber's lack of empathy toward drivers, and although this won't shift the perception overnight, it is a big step in the right direction", wrote Harry Campbell, who runs a popular blog, The Rideshare Guy. More importantly, Uber also agreed to a number of concessions, including new specific policies created to give drivers greater transparency about what keeps them in good standing and what could boot them off the platform.

Phew, that is an impressive list and will probably be cause enough for drivers to celebrate.

Among other changes made to satisfy drivers was the implementation of a new policy that allows them to collect a fee if a rider cancels after two minutes. "In expanding so quickly, we failed to prioritize the people that helped get us here". However, the move may mean more expensive trips for riders, which could push them away from Uber if they care more about budget than image.

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