Uber May Soon Be Forced to Add In-App Tipping Feature

Apr 17, 2017

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In an effort to force Uber to rethink its policies, the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) of New York City is attempting to step in. According to the New York Times, the TLC announced today that it’ll be introducing a proposal that would require all ride-sharing services that accept only credit cards (like Uber) to allow customers to add a tip using their card.

The proposal follows a petition from the Independent Drivers Guild, a group that represents Uber partners, which argued that drivers were losing thousands of dollars without an in-app tipping option. The petition collected more than 11,000 signatures, and not long after, the TLC announced that it would propose the new in-app requirement.

When it comes to tipping with Uber, there are no requirements for passengers. Riders are allowed to tip in cash if they so please, but they are by no means required to do so (however, it might increase their rating). Drivers argue that because so few people carry cash or don’t know that they’re allowed to tip, they’re missing out on some potential bonus cash.

According to Bloomberg, the proposal will be formally introduced by July. But, in order for it to pass, it’ll have to be approved by the taxi commission’s board and gain the majority of a vote — that is, after drivers and passengers can voice their opinion on the issue.

Uber’s direct ride-sharing competitor, Lyft, already allows its users to tip right from the app. So, this proposal from the TLC is clearly a shot at Uber, potentially forcing it to change its policy. And while this may be limited as a possibility in New York at this time, if it passes, drivers in other cities could lobby for similar requirements when it comes to tipping. This could end up being even more bad news for Uber, which hasn’t been having a great start to 2017.

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