"You've told us what you want, and now it's time we step up and give you the driving experience you deserve, because simply put, Uber wouldn't exist without you". Some changes will be big, some will be small - all will be the changes you've asked for. The feature has been rolled out in Seattle, Houston and Minneapolis first, according to the Uber website.
Other changes include paying drivers if their rider cancels after 2 minutes or more, and paying drivers who have to wait more than 2 minutes for their rider. There's also the option for Driver Injury Protection Insurance, the costs of which will be offset by a slightly higher per-mile rate, for added protection against personal or financial injury while on the job. Riders have up to 30 days to add a tip. Uber will not take any portion of the tip.
Driver pressure will have played a significant factor - but it is likely that wider concerns are what prompted this latest move by Uber, a company left in tatters after a hugely critical report into its culture.
Drivers are already fuming at Uber for a variety of other reasons, from accidental underpayments to deceptive recruiting tactics, not to mention the fact that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was caught on camera recently berating an Uber driver who quizzed him about the firm's shortcomings (he and Uber are now on a break).More news: Justices say government can't refuse disparaging trademarks
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Riders will not be required to leave a tip.
On the other hand, riders who keep drivers waiting outside for more than two minutes will begin to incur additional "per minute" fees.
"This is just the beginning", the email read. "We know there's a long road ahead, but we won't stop until we get there". The first set of changes had to do with driver earnings, and at the top of that list was the option for tipping.
Drivers aren't the only people Uber is trying to treat better. The Guild has been pressuring both Uber and regulators to introduce tipping for more than a year.