TLC Will Require Uber To Offer A Tipping Option

Uber drivers won a major victory Monday: Prompted in part by a labor group's campaign to force the ride-hail giant to add a tipping function to its app, the Taxi and Limousine Commission announced that it will bring tipping options to the entire industry.

"This rule proposal will be an important first step to improve earning potential in the for-hire vehicle industry", Meera Joshi, the taxi commissioner, said in a statement today.

The petitions were moved after hundreds of drivers with Uber and Ola went on indefinite strike from February 10 in Delhi-NCR to protest against "low fares" and the "lack" of basic amenities from the two app-based cab companies. "They actually feel uncomfortable when they get out of the auto and don't tip the driver". That's why, in New York City, we partnered with the Machinists Union to make sure current and future Uber NYC drivers have a stronger voice and launched a series of new tools and support policies for drivers.

The Independent Drivers Guild, which represents Uber drivers in NY and part of the Machinists Union, collected more than 11,000 signatures in a petition.

The consumer protection arm of the California Public Utility Commission found Uber Technologies has violated "zero-tolerance" rules governing drunken-driving complaints on 151 occasions over the course of a year, out of 154 complaints reviewed.

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IDG, which formed last May, is a coalition of 50,000 drivers for companies like Uber, Lyft and Juno.

Adding a tipping feature to Uber's app would remove one significant difference between Uber and its chief US competitor, Lyft.

Uber, meanwhile, has previously argued that tipping is influenced by personal bias (race and gender have both been associated with tipping variances), and that it could lead to drivers flocking around affluent neighborhoods where people are likely to tip more. 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.

The Guild said in a press statement that a tipping feature would mean an extra $300 million per year for New York City drivers.

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. After that, the commission's board will cast its vote.

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