Published: Tue, April 18, 2017
Industry | By Faith Ward

New York Uber drivers may get tips

New York Uber drivers may get tips

The city's Taxi and Limousine Commission is weighing a proposal that would require all for-hire drivers to offer riders the option to tip using the same method of payment they used for the ride. As it stands, the only option passengers have when it comes to tipping is to offer cash, something people are carrying less of these days.

Uber now does not offer in-app tipping, while its competitor, Lyft, does have the option.

The rule will require Uber to "conform to industry standards", according to Jim Conigliaro, Jr, founder of the Independent Drivers Guild.

Many New Yorkers use Uber because you don't have to worry after you plug in your starting point and destination. Sanjay Samrat of Delhi Tourist Taxi Association echoed Soni, claiming while they supported the Ola-Uber drivers, they will not participate in the strike. "The exploitation of ride-hailing drivers must end, and this is an important first step", he said. This varies by city. And after a while, Uber could decide that it makes more sense to standardize in-app tipping, rather than continue to juggle different versions of its app in different cities.

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

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In a post on Medium, Uber stated its reasons for not wanting to include tipping in the experience, including not wanting to incentivize drivers to go where tips would be highest.

The commission said its proposal is a response to driver concerns over falling wages, as Uber has reduced fares in New York City and across the country. Lyft started offering in-app tipping in 2012, and the company says its drivers have pulled in $200 million in tips since. The taxi commission has the authority to initiate rulemaking on its own, but rules must be certified by city legal authorities.

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. As Uber faces myriad controversies this year, it's locked in intense competition with Lyft Inc. for drivers, and any worker who feels tipping is important can easily switch to Uber's rival. TLC rules already govern the suggested tipping levels for credit-card payments in yellow cabs.

He continued, "Uber is always striving to offer the best earning opportunity for drivers and we are constantly working to improve the driver experience".

Luis Tavares, a member of the guild who's been driving for Uber for five years, said his fares have dropped over time and that he finds himself having to drive more to bring home the same pay.

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