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Drivers push NYC to require tipping option in ride-sharing apps

Some services already do it, but drivers want the same from Uber.
Billy Steele
February 15, 2017
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Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In New York City, some ride-sharing services offer an in-app option for riders to tip the driver. Uber doesn't, so the Independent Drivers Guild is pushing the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) to make a decision on the matter. The group has over 8,000 signatures on a petition that asks the taxi regulators in the city to require app-based transportation services to offer a tipping option. A change in policy would force Uber to add the ability to tip to its app.

The TLC already requires the touch screens in cabs to give passengers the option to tip 20 percent or manually enter a different amount. So far, it has yet to extend the mandate to ride-sharing companies. However, services like Lyft and others do offer a tipping option in NYC even though they aren't required to do so. The commission has to respond to rule petitions within 60 days with with either proposed changes to existing rules or a denial of the request. There's no guarantee of a change in regulations, but the TLC has to at least consider the matter following the guild's petition.

Issues with Uber's tipping policies aren't anything new. The company has already been slapped with lawsuits for misleading passengers and missing tips from food deliveries. "On Uber, tips are not included, nor are they expected or required," the company explained when the guild began its tipping campaign in July. "Riders tell us that one of the things they like most about Uber is that it's hassle-free. Riders are free to offer tips and drivers are welcome to accept them, as has always been our policy." Of course, since there's currently no in-app tip option, those "welcome" tips have to be cash.

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