Amid increasing tensions between Uber drivers and its “Always be hustlin’” corporate bro-verlords, the currently CEO-less company has decided to institute a big change that could result in drivers taking home more money: For the first time, drivers nationwide will be allowed to accept tips from passengers via the Uber app.
Uber currently only allows tipping through the app in Seattle and Minneapolis, with Houston planning to join that small list later this month. Elsewhere, like in New York City, drivers may be allowed to accept tips, but only in cash — and they can’t ask for the tip.
That’s all about to change. As part of a 180-day overhaul of the beleaguered multibillion-dollar company, Uber will soon open up tipping to all U.S. drivers who want it.
The company says the update will be pushed to the driver app at some point before the end of July. Drivers will then be able to decide whether or not they want to offer tipping as an option to their passengers. If they do turn this option on, passengers will asked if they want to enter a tip when they rate their driver at the conclusion of the trip.
Passengers will be given some preset tip amounts to choose from, or they can enter in an amount of their choosing. Unlike taxis where you tip before you get out of the car, Uber riders will have 30 days from the conclusion of their trip to add a tip.
Drivers for UberEATS, the company’s food delivery service, will also be allowed to accept tips for their services.
Uber says the full tipped amount will be given to the driver; the company won’t charge any commission or fee beyond what it already makes on the fare.
There may be some awkwardness during the initial rollout of the tipping update, as both drivers and customers will need to have the latest versions of the Uber and UberEATS app. 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to hear from drivers that they turned on tipping, but they aren’t consistently getting tips because passengers have outdated apps installed.
Other Changes Coming
In addition to the tipping update, Uber has announced a handful of changes that it hopes will please drivers.
• Paid To Wait
Drivers who are kept waiting by riders who can’t seem to get their life in order will soon be paid for their idle time. If the driver has to wait more than two minutes, they will receive a per-minute fee. That change will roll out nationwide by the end of August, says Uber.
• Paid For Last-Minute Cancellations
It usually takes a few minutes for an Uber driver to get from where they are to the spot where they pick the passenger up. If a passenger cancels a car more than two minutes after the driver has accepted the assignment, a cancellation fee will be charged and paid to the driver. This feature is available now in certain markets, and should be available to all drivers by the end of August.