Uber to allow tipping for drivers, reversing long-standing policy

In addition to driver tips, Uber has made Driver Destination Trips count toward promotions and available to all us drivers, added $2 to the base fare for trips requested by teen accounts, and added a per-minute fee for drivers waiting over two minutes for riders to arrive. Uber plans to roll it out in all U.S. cities that it serves by the end of July.

They will be charged by the minute if they kept an Uber vehicle waiting for more than two minutes and the company was reducing the time allowed to cancel a ride from five to two minutes. For those trips, $2 will be added to the base fare of the ride, allowing drivers to collect more for transporting teens which can be a liability issue. Starting today, Uber is embarking on an initiative entitled "180 days of change" (get it?) and the company's first step to moving onward and upward is to introduce tipping in select cities.

"Cuts to driver pay across the ride-hail industry have made tipping income more important than ever", said Jim Conigliaro Jr, founder of the Independent Drivers Guild, which had been pushing Uber to make the change. "We know there's a long road ahead, but we won't stop until we get there", Schildkrout and Holt said.

On the tipping screen, riders will be able to find a list of suggested tips, but they can also enter in any amount they choose. This was the most requested feature from Uber drivers who will not see Uber fees deducted from their tips.

The fact that you could not tip Uber drivers within the app in the past has not stopped some drivers from soliciting tips.

But Uber has undergone a massive leadership shakeup since then.

The changes come amid a series of scandals that lead Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to take a leave of absence from the company.

The changes come as Uber works to fix the damage to its reputation following an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment, bullying and other employee concerns. That should go without saying, but it doesn't for a company that has systematically neglected to deduct services fees before taking its proportional commissions ("accidentally"). Yesterday, Lyft announced that its drivers have earned over a quarter billion dollars in tips.

He wrote in an email to Business Insider that because people are so accustomed to not tipping, they won't start giving tips to drivers just because of a policy. And this could also keep some Uber drivers who were thinking of defecting to Lyft after yesterday's news. He expects the new option will increase a driver's bottom line by 10 to 30 percent. More improvements for drivers are in the works for the next several months, with the next set due in July.

  • Arturo Norris