Tipping is Coming to Uber

Uber, whose transportation platform became famous for its low-friction experience, is now toying with tips.

The lack of tipping has long appealed to users, who praise the simple and seamless experience in contrast to traditional taxi trips. But Uber pays drivers less than ever, and in a saturated market, the company seems to be looking for new ways to retain its fleet of behind-the-wheel workers.

Uber has already launched tipping in Seattle, Minneapolis and Houston, with more cities in the US coming soon, and a high possibility of the feature arriving in Canada later this year, too.

“We’re starting with only three cities so we can create the best tipping experience for you and your riders,” Rachel Holt, head of US operations for Uber, told drivers in a memo online. “We’ll be adding more cities over the next few weeks, and will make tips available to all US drivers, by the end of July.”

Lyft, Uber’s much smaller rival, has always allowed tipping.

Beyond tipping, Uber is appealing to drivers in other ways, such as by offering short cancellation windows and compensating drivers by the minute while they wait for tardy riders.

“You will earn a per-minute rate if you wait for a rider, starting two minutes after arrival,” explains Aaron Schildkrout, Uber’s head of driver experience. He added that more improvements will be announced in July.

“Over the next 180 days we are committed to making driving with Uber better than ever,” Holt said.

This week it was reported that Travis Kalanick, the company’s founder, has resigned from his role as CEO of Uber.