Tipping will soon be allowed with the Uber app

Uber is adding tipping in order to improve its relationship with drivers, who have recently felt like they've been wronged.

To receive tips, drivers will first have to agree to the feature, which is similar to how it works for Uber's rival services such as Lyft. As part of a 180-day overhaul of the beleaguered multibillion-dollar company, Uber will soon open up tipping to all US drivers who want it.

Tipping is now available in Seattle, Minneapolis, and Houston starting on June 20, 2017.

Do you welcome Uber's new tipping system or are you also afraid that this will lead to passengers feeling pressured to tip in exchange of a better rating?

Earlier this year, it was rumored that a tipping option will be offered to Uber riders in New York City as soon as the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission considered a proposal to add the feature in the ride-hailing app. The cancellation window will narrow to two minutes (it was previously five) and drivers will get a per-minute fee if a rider makes them wait beyond two minutes. During those first few days, we wouldn't be surprised to hear from drivers that they turned on tipping, but they aren't consistently getting tips because passengers have outdated apps installed. "Some changes will be big, some will be small-all will be changes drivers have asked for", the email stated.

Tipping is a major reversal for Uber, which had promoted the simplicity of paying without tipping.

In a separate statement posted Tuesday, Uber's lesser-known co-founder, Garrett Camp, said the company must hold itself to a "higher standard" in the wake of its numerous scandals.

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

Other changes for drivers are coming over the summer, including the option for them to add injury protection insurance.

Uber drivers are independent contractors, not employees, and lack paid sick leave and vacation.

Dawn Gearhart is the union's association policy coordinator, and says the tips announcement is "too little, too late".

Drivers may "cash out tips and earnings any time", a fact sheet promises.

Is Uber a "digital service" or a transport company?

  • Joanne Flowers