Uber drivers in New York City may start making more money than they’re accustomed to. The Taxi and Limousine Commission announced Monday it supports a petition started by the Independent Driver’s Guild with the goal of requiring a tipping option in the Uber app.
Currently Uber does not offer users an option to tip via the app like competitor Lyft. The petition has more than 11,000 signatures, and the online description attached to it says, “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.”
Uber issued a statement nearly a year ago to “clarify” the tipping policy, which is pretty much nonexistent. “Tipping is not included, nor is it expected or required,” Uber said the statement. Tip is not included in the amount of money the drivers make from Uber either. So drivers only make their cut of the Uber fare, no more.
Uber assigns a cost for a booking fee, plus a per-mile cost and a per-minute cost that the driver makes for each ride. This varies by city. The Independent Drivers Guild estimates drivers in New York City are losing thousands of dollars because of no-tip custom with Uber rides. And Uber says users like that Uber is “hassle-free,” and not adding a tipping option helps keep it that way.
This tipping problem is one of many the company has faced in the past few months, including sexual harassment allegations, a self-driving vehicle accident and leaked video of CEO Travis Kalanick arguing with a driver.