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 a new direction

21 June, 2017

Kalanick has pushed his company into the fierce race for self-driving vehicle technology specifically so he could eliminate the driver.

It's hard to determine whether Uber's misdeeds have cost ridership nationally.

Lyft recently said it had paid out more than $250m in tips to its drivers. Uber cofounder and chairman Garrett Camp spoke out about the company's recent scandals, and its contentious relationship with drivers, on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the company said it will introduce tipping for drivers, something the company has strongly objected to in the past.

The new feature debuts in Seattle, Minneapolis and Houston on Tuesday, with more cities to roll out over the next few weeks and every market covered by the end of July, according to an email Uber sent drivers signed by head of US operations Rachel Holt and head of driver experience Aaron Schildkrout.

"These drivers are our most important partners, but we haven't done a very good job honoring that partnership", Rachel Holt, regional general manager for Uber in the USA and Canada, told the Associated Press.

Tipping is part of a broader set of features San Francisco-based Uber rolled out on Tuesday, which also includes paying drivers while they wait for passengers, as the company begins a months-long push to improve working conditions for drivers. Now, drivers will get $US2 ($3) of the fee. "We must update our core values, listen better to employees and riders, and prioritize our drivers", he wrote. While Uber's terms of service ban minors from opening an account, this feature, which is now being piloted in Seattle, Phoenix, and Columbus, allows children who are 13 or older to book rides that are charged to a parent's account.

Uber has always argued that it offers a seamless experience and that adding a tip feature into its app would interfere with that. According to Uber's website, these rides get routed to a select group of "experienced drivers who have received consistently high ratings".

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While building the world's biggest ride-hailing service over the past eight years, Uber also developed a reputation for cutthroat tactics that have occasionally outraged government regulators, its drivers, its riders and even its own employees.

Tipping is not included, nor is it expected or required. And that's how we intend to keep it.

The transportation services provider's customers will now be able to tip their drivers, making up an important part of the income of taxi drivers that Uber is now on board with.

The company has also taken heat from its riders over complaints of sexual harassment and a toxic company culture. She is on the leadership team running Uber while CEO Travis Kalanick is on leave.

In an email to sent out to all drivers UBER is explaining there will be several changes over the next 180 days including the option to leave a tip through the app. Uber was valued at almost $70 billion the last time it raised money. This is just the beginning.

Uber executives had long argued that the no-muss aspect of its non-tipping approach - get in a auto, ride to your destination, and get out - was one of the most popular aspects of its service with riders. A judge famously rejected a $100 million class-action settlement in 2016 for being inadequate to compensate drivers in California and MA who wound up paying a variety of costs out of their own pockets.

It remains to be seen where in the interface the tipping option will appear, especially once it's nationwide.

In early January, Uber accounted for 56.8 percent of all rides in the city, while Lyft had 9.5 percent. "I believe there will be a lot of people very happy".

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