People in New York City know what it’s like to hail a taxi and then leave a quick tip before exiting the vehicle. With Uber, adding a tip hasn’t been possible through the app as passengers pay for the rides with their credit cards using the app. Some passengers are able to give a tip if they have cash on them, but most rely on Uber for the ease of paying through the app for their rides.
A petition from the Independent Drivers Guild, a group that represents Uber drivers In NYC, collected more than 11,000 signatures that argue drivers lose thousands of dollars without an easy tipping option.
James Conigliaro Jr., the founder of the Independent Drivers Guild, said, “It has become harder for drivers to make a living wage,” he said. “They have to work much harder and longer hours to earn the same amount of money they did when Uber came on the scene.”
Officials in New York City are now moving to require Uber to provide a tipping option in the app. New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission are to announce a proposal on Monday that will require car services that only accept credit cards to allow passengers to tip the driver using their card.
Meera Joshi, the city’s taxi commissioner, said in a statement, “This rule proposal will be an important first step to improve earning potential in the for-hire vehicle industry, but it is just one piece of a more comprehensive effort to improve the economic well-being of drivers.”
A spokeswoman for Uber, Alix Anfang, said the company would review the proposal.
“Uber is always striving to offer the best earning opportunity for drivers and we are constantly working to improve the driver experience,” Ms. Anfang said in a statement.
The proposal would need to be approved by the taxi commission’s board and will be formally introduced later this year.
Under the rules, companies that only accept cash could continue to accept cash tips.
Competitor Lyft, a rival hailing service already allows passengers to tip from the app. Lyft said in March that the company’s drivers had earned more than $200 million in tips nationwide.