It’s absurd that it’s taken this long, but Uber is finally launching an option for tipping drivers within its app. The new feature is part of a “180 Days of Change” initiative the company launched on Tuesday to jumpstart its “Uber 2.0” overhaul after months of scandals.
The feature is still in its preliminary stages, so Uber is testing it in three cities: Seattle, Minneapolis, and Houston. More places will be added within the coming weeks, and every city in the United States will be involved by the end of July.
“Uber service fees are never deducted from your tips,” clarifies the company’s announcement to drivers. That should go without saying, but it doesn’t for a company that has systematically neglected to deduct services fees before taking its proportional commissions (“accidentally”).
So, how can riders tip drivers with this new feature? Note: Both parties need to have updated to the latest version of the app.
First, you’ll need to rate your trip (you can’t add a tip otherwise). Then you’ll be able to choose from a few preset amounts — they’re trying out $1, $2, and $5, so opting away from the traditional percentage model — or hit “enter custom amount” to type in a different number. Tap “done,” and you’ll be finished.
If you want to tip a driver but forgot to do so, no sweat: You can still add one for up to 30 days after your ride. Go to your emailed receipt or trip history within the app, or visit riders.uber.com or help.uber.com to do so.
Uber drivers have been asking for a tip option since the company began, and they’ve even gone on strike about it.
The “180 Days of Change” launch comes one day after Lyft announced that its drivers have made over a quarter of a billion dollars in tips since its inception. Lyft has been using $1, $2, and $5 tip presets, but now the company is increasing those for fares above $25. Uber is still lagging behind, but at least it’s taken a step forward.
Uber is doing important work to shape itself up, but some improvements aren’t entirely within the company’s control; riders must be responsible, good passengers. So do your part and tip your driver.