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Uber will finally let its drivers accept tips
January 21 2018, 12:10 | Rex Rios
Uber adds option to tip drivers as it heads in a new direction
Uber on Tuesday also announced a handful of other driver-friendly changes.
The company said it will introduce tipping for drivers, something it has strongly objected to in the past. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick recently began a leave of absence to grieve his recently-passed mother, though it's hard not to imagine that the mounting scandals played a role in that decision.
Lyft's app has long allowed riders to tip drivers. Though prompted by requests from drivers seeking a better driving experience, some of the changes will have an impact on riders. Other earnings enhancements include driver injury protection insurance, a teen fare that pays drivers more for teen account trips and eliminating unpaid wait times, among others.
It's absurd that it's taken this long, but Uber is finally launching an option for tipping drivers within its app.
Holt said the company talked to thousands of drivers before adding tips to the app.
Besides the built-in tipping announced Tuesday, Uber is giving drivers an opportunity to make more money in other ways too.
In Seattle, drivers' pay and working conditions have been in the public spotlight with the passage of the city's first-of-its-kind law allowing Uber and Lyft drivers to unionize. In a Medium post past year, Uber explained its reasoning against tipping. The inability for riders to give tips has been a common gripe from Uber drivers and has been played on by Lyft as a key point in its self-portrayal as the "nicer" alternative to Uber for ride-sharing.
The change comes amid mounting pressure over how Uber treats its employees and drivers. In addition to the tipping option, the company is decreasing the cancellation window for passengers from five minutes to two minutes, addressing another longtime complaint of drivers. Uber's company culture has been under scrutiny since allegations of widespread sexual harassment surfaced in February. However, the move may mean more expensive trips for riders, which could push them away from Uber if they care more about budget than image. 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.