ibusinesslines.com June 27, 2017

Uber Adds Option to Tip Drivers

20 June 2017, 10:10 | Jodi Jackson

Uber adds tipping and teen fares to make drivers happy

Uber adds option to tip drivers as it heads in new direction

Starting in Seattle, Minneapolis and Houston, then rolling out to all U.S. drivers by the end of July 2017, the tipping feature will be part of the Uber app. The San Francisco-based startup plans to add more cities over the new few weeks, and make tipping available to all USA drivers by the end of July.

Time will tell whether or not it persuades drivers to select Uber over its competitors.

Holt is among the senior brass at Uber running the company since CEO Travis Kalanick took a leave of absence.

Its new 180 Days of Change campaign aims to "make meaningful change" to the Uber driving experience by prioritising the driver's time and rewarding their efforts. The first set of changes had to do with driver earnings, and at the top of that list was the option for tipping.

That didn't satisfy Uber drivers, however, many of whom petitioned the company to add them. "Some changes will be big, some will be smallーall will be changes drivers have asked for", Uber said.

The company said it was adding only those three cities to "create the best tipping experience" for passengers and riders. Those who drive for the company will also get a cancellation fee if their rider cancels after two minutes (instead of five), get paid starting two minutes after arriving to pick up a passenger regardless of whether the passenger has entered the vehicle, and have the option to purchase driver protection injury insurance (among other things).

What's more, Uber's tenuous business model - analysts suspect current ride-hailing prices are being kept artificially low with subsidies - is hampered by having to pay the humans at the wheel.

"The reason Uber could be expensive is you're paying for the other dude in the vehicle", Kalanick said at a Code Conference in 2014.

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