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Uber to allow tipping for drivers, reversing long-standing policy

Uber to allow tipping for drivers, reversing long-standing policy

Uber to allow tipping for drivers, reversing long-standing policy

Signaling that possibly only one man has been standing in the way of Uber drivers being able to receive tips from passengers as they can with ride-hailing rival Lyft, the company announced Tuesday that tips for Uber drivers will now be possible in the app starting immediately in three cities, and in all USA cities by the end of July.

Starting in Seattle, Minneapolis and Houston, then rolling out to all United States drivers by the end of July 2017, the tipping feature will be part of the Uber app. All Uber drivers in the US should have tipping by then end of July 2017.

The in-app tipping option is now available in Seattle, Minneapolis and Houston, Uber said in an email sent to drivers Tuesday morning and later posted on the company's website. Uber will also be reducing the time that riders have to cancel a ride in order to avoid a $5 fee from five minutes to two minutes after summoning a driver.

Uber told Quartz that it has added the $2 extra fee because drivers are offering a more exclusive service, and parents are willing to pay more for it.

While building the world's biggest ride-hailing service over the past eight years, Uber developed a reputation for cutthroat tactics that have occasionally outraged government regulators, drivers, riders and its employees.

Rideshare company Uber is changing course on its tipping policy. CEO Travis Kalanick is in the midst of a leave of absence, and 20 employees have been fired following an investigation into harassment and discrimination at Uber.

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Teen Fare For teen account trips, $2 will be added to the base fare and you'll earn more for those rides. The changes are a part of "180 Days of Change", during which the company says it will "share major improvements that will make driving more flexible and less stressful, giving you earnings and support you can depend on".

In the past, competitor Lyft has capitalized on the fact that Uber did not allow riders to tip within its app; Lyft has allowed tipping in its app for years.

The public reaction will likely be mixed, as it has been on Twitter, with consumers divided between wanting to pay drivers well and wanting the Uber model to remain the same. "We know there's a long road ahead, but we won't stop until we get there", Schildkrout and Holt said. It's also allowing more drivers to designate the routes that they want to travel to keep them closer to a destination.

Regardless of Uber's urgent need to change both its internal culture and its tarnished brand image, the new tipping option may have been inevitable.

After Uber's announcement earlier in the day, Lyft tweeted that they are "closing in on 1,800 days of in-app tipping" and surpassed more than $250 million in tips.

The Independent Drivers Guild, which represents Uber drivers in New York City, took credit for Uber's decision.

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