Published: Tue, April 18, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ted Wilson

New York City Moves Toward Requiring Uber Tipping Option

New York City Moves Toward Requiring Uber Tipping Option

When asked if the company would consider expanding a tipping option to all its markets if it were required to introduce it in NY, the spokesperson declined to comment.

On its website, Uber said riders are not obliged to tip, but drivers can accept cash if offered.

The New York move suggests that car-ride services are unlikely to remain free from digital tipping.

New York City's taxi and black auto regulator plans to require Uber Technologies to add a tipping feature to its app by July.

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"[Passenger] said he didn't have cash on hand but offered me a bag of chips which I accepted", wrote one driver from New Jersey on an Uber drivers forum. The earliest that in-app tipping could be available will be this summer.

In a statement sent to CNNTech, Uber said that it has "not seen the proposal". "They actually feel uncomfortable when they get out of the auto and don't tip the driver". It's a long story, but the gist of it is, Uber was briefly required to allow drivers to solicit for tips as part of a huge, $100 million settlement with a class of drivers who were suing for being wrongly classified as independent contractors. In three major United States markets - Denver, Detroit, and Houston - Uber drivers earned less than $13.25 an hour after expenses in late 2015, BuzzFeed News reported previous year.

Conigliaro praised the proposed rule as "a vitally important step forward for drivers", citing the lack of protections for drivers such as paid sick leave and minimum wage rules.

New York City is on its way to mandating that Uber allow tips.

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Luis Tavares, a member of the guild who's been driving for Uber for five years, said his fares have dropped over time and that he finds himself having to drive more to bring home the same pay.

This induces some guilt, because everything points toward the fact that Uber has been able to get me such cheap rides around town partly through aggressively screwing over drivers. The interface wouldn't ask you to tip immediately after a ride, but rather users would have to manually select find their last ride. "The exploitation of ride-hail drivers must end and this is an important first step".

Conigliaro, Jr. said on a call with press that the in-app change would provide much-needed income for drivers, at a time of fluctuating rates.

Less than two years after backing off on efforts to restrict the number of new licenses issued to for-hire vehicles, New York City is again taking aim at Uber. "As a result, New York's working drivers are losing thousands of dollars we need for vehicle upkeep and supporting our families in one of the most expensive cities in America".

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