NYC Uber drivers could soon start getting tips

18 April, 2017, 01:30 | Author: Alicia Barber
  • Tyrone Siu  Reuters

The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission has made a decision to move ahead with a proposal that could (if implemented) force cab aggregators to offer options for tipping, regardless o the kind of payment they accept.

Drivers are losing thousands of dollars without a straightforward, in-app tipping option, according to the guild, which organized the campaign for the feature and launched a petition that has collected more than 11,000 signatures.

There is also 30-day public comment period and public hearing, and a board of commissioners votes on the final rule.

"Uber is always striving to offer the best earning opportunity for drivers and we are constantly working to improve the driver experience", Uber spokeswoman Alix Anfang said in a statement. Some 41% of respondents say close proximity to the server/cashier while entering a tip amount would make them more likely to tip, the 2015 Software Advice study found.

Many regular users of app-based cab aggregators Ola and Uber are busy chalking out their travel plans for Tuesday, as the drivers have called for a strike once again. The IDG represents Uber drivers in the NYC and wields significant clout in the community.

Delhi-NCR residents got their first taste of Ola and Uber drivers' strike against the cab companies in February this year, which went on for nearly two weeks.

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Right now, tipping an Uber driver is one of those weird things.

In a statement, Uber said they have not yet seen the proposal, but look forward to reviewing it. The entire process would be handled with a few taps of an app, paid through a credit card, without an obligation to tip. Lyft offers a tipping option in its app.

Riders can tip cash to Uber drivers but don't have the option to add a tip via credit card. It said tipping is a top concern among its drivers.

The Independent Drivers Guild, a union-backed association that advocates for New York's Uber drivers, petitioned the commission to pursue the tip rule. "They actually feel uncomfortable when they get out of the auto and don't tip the driver". As my colleague Sean O'Kane correctly notes, Uber chose to cap surge pricing during emergencies nationwide in 2014 after NY first forced the ride-hail to adopt the policy.

Those charges and the proposed penalty are now subject to examination by an administrative law judge who will conduct further proceedings before recommending to the five-member commission itself what action, if any, should be taken against the company.

Of course, finding a solution than makes drivers, riders, and Uber itself happy will be more nuanced and require more back and forth than what I can come up with in the space of a blog post, but point is a compromise exists somewhere; Uber just has to put in the work to find it.

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