When other taxi services have in-app tipping option allowing riders to tip drivers by adding a few dollars to their bill, Uber has explicitly had no option for the riders to tip. And that is going to end in a few months with a new bill proposed by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission on Monday that requires Uber to add a tipping option within its app.
According to the new proposal, car services that only accept credit cards to let customers tip the driver using their cards. New Yorkers have been tipping taxi drivers for long time, but Uber has limited only to cash tipping rather allowing credit card based tips. However, New York City taxis allow customers to tip drivers when paying with credit cards.
“This rule proposal will be an important first step to improve earning potential in the for-hire vehicle industry, but it is just one piece of a more comprehensive effort to improve the economic well-being of drivers,” Meera Joshi, the city’s taxi commissioner, said in a statement.
The proposal comes after the Independent Drivers Guild, a group representing Uber drivers in New York submitted a petition with more than 11,000 signatures from Uber drivers to the the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission. They argued that drivers were losing an ample amount of dollars without the tipping option.
“Uber is always striving to offer the best earning opportunity for drivers and we are constantly working to improve the driver experience,” Ms. Alix Anfang, spokeswoman of Uber said in a statement. “We have not seen the proposal and look forward to reviewing it,” she added.
James Conigliaro Jr., the founder of the Independent Drivers Guild, said allowing drivers to earn tips would help them make a decent living after Uber had in recent years reduced driver rates in New York. “It has become harder for drivers to make a living wage,” he said. “They have to work much harder and longer hours to earn the same amount of money they did when Uber came on the scene.”