Uber drivers have long been asking for a way to allow passengers to leave them a tip. On Tuesday they got their wish.
The ride-hailing giant rolled out a new feature that lets passengers use the app to give a few extra dollars to their driver when they finish rating a completed trip. The new option debuted in Minneapolis, Seattle and Houston on Tuesday, but it will be everywhere by the end of July, said Molly Spaeth, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco company.
“It’s the right thing to do, it’s long overdue, and there’s no time like the present,” she said in a statement.
Uber has about 6,000 active drivers in the Twin Cities, Spaeth said.
The change in policy comes as Uber embarks on what it is calling “180 Days of Change,” a companywide effort designed to improve the driving experience, she said.
Along with allowing tipping, the company also announced in an e-mail to drivers that they will receive a fee if a rider cancels after more than two minutes, down from five minutes, and that Uber will pay drivers a per-minute rate when they have to wait more than two minutes for a passenger.
With the move to allow in-app tipping, Uber joins its biggest rival, Lyft, which already allows passengers to tip drivers through its app.
Uber said it also will offer drivers injury protection insurance among its changes.
“Over the next 180 days we are committed to making driving with Uber better than ever,” said the e-mail signed by Uber’s head of U.S. operations Rachel Holt and head of driver experience Aaron Schildkrout. “We know there’s a long road ahead, but we won’t stop until we get there.”
The next round of improvements is expected in July.