Carsharing app Uber, aiming to keep its drivers from jumping ship, has reportedly rolled out the ability for passengers to give drivers in the U.S. a tip by tapping in the company’s app.
According to a report in The Washington Post, this is the first time the ridesharing app is doing this as it tries to overhaul its reputation. The new tipping option was announced Tuesday (June 20) and gives drivers another way to make money. Uber also said it will charge riders per minute if they keep a driver waiting for longer than two minutes and has lowered the time riders have to cancel a trip before they are hit with a $5 fee. The time has declined to two minutes after requesting a driver from five minutes, according to the report.
While Uber isn’t taking any of the money drivers earn in tips, it will collect part of the ride cancellation fees and the waiting time charges, noted the report. The tipping ability by tapping the app has been available for some time with Lyft, the ridesharing app rival to Uber. Uber will make the gratuity option available in all of the U.S. cities it operates in by the end of next month, reported the Post, noting the other features will be launched in August.
“These drivers are our most important partners, but we haven’t done a very good job honoring that partnership,” said Rachel Holt, regional general manager in the U.S. and Canada, in an interview with the Post.
Holt is part of the team of leaders that is operating Uber after CEO Travis Kalanick announced he is taking a leave. The new billing charges, noted the report, are part of the beleaguered companies so-called “180 days of change” for its drivers in the U.S. Holt told the paper the company has talked to thousands of drivers before making the changes that will increase their income. Uber is also making it easier for the drivers to transfer the money they make into their own accounts at a faster clip and is enabling drivers to choose routes they want to travel so they are closer to a destination, noted the report.