New York Uber drivers may get tips

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Riders have been able to tip cash in Uber cars up to now, but have not had an in-app option to add a tip via credit card.

The Delhi High Court on Monday restrained two taxi drivers' unions from disrupting services of cabs run under aggregators Ola and Uber in Delhi-NCR. In New York City, it may soon not have much of a choice.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission announced plans today to create a rule requiring that rideshare apps including Uber offer customers a tipping option. The proposal could be aimed at Uber, which has so far been wary of introducing just such a feature to its mobile platform. The earliest that in-app tipping could be available will be this summer. "They actually feel uncomfortable when they get out of the vehicle and don't tip the driver". Jim Conigliaro, the drivers guild's founder, said on a call with reporters that the group is also interested in regulations that would require Uber to pay a living wage or cap the number of Uber drivers in NY so that those on the roads will have an easier time making a living.

Uber has never shied away from a fight with policymakers, and its sanguine response to the proposed tipping rules points toward a shift in its thinking.

"Rulemaking on tipping is a first step in a larger process to bring some of the income protections provided to yellow taxi drivers to the for-hire world".

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The Independent Drivers Guild, a union-backed association that advocates for New York's Uber drivers, petitioned the commission to pursue the tip rule. "My hope is that drivers in other cities across the country will come together" to demand better treatment from Uber.

"Almost always, I get that 25% back in tips", said Tavares, a 10-year taxi industry veteran. "Of course, if you want to tip your driver-we estimate riders offer tips on only a very small number of trips-you're free to do so, and drivers are free to accept". Tipping is voluntary. As a rider, you are not obligated to offer your driver a gratuity in cash.

"Professional drivers are a vital part of both our city's transportation network and economy, and driving for-hire has supported hundreds of thousands of New York City families for decades", TLC Chair Meera Joshi said. Some 41% of respondents say close proximity to the server/cashier while entering a tip amount would make them more likely to tip, the 2015 Software Advice study found.

While Uber hasn't yet added a tipping button to its app, Lyft has had one for a while now; it would already be in compliance with the proposed rule should it pass. Uber has a history of pulling out of locations when rules change that aren't in its favor, but it's hard to imagine the company leaving NYC.

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