New York City to Uber: Let People Tip Your Drivers

That's based on the two to three trips per hour made by the typical Uber driver and the tipping behavior of passengers in New York's yellow cabs, where 97% of customers who rode solo and paid by credit card followed prompts to add a tip to their receipt and left a median tip of $2 in the first half of 2015.

The commission said its proposal is a response to driver concerns over falling wages, as Uber has reduced fares in New York City and across the country.

Ride-services company Uber Technologies Inc may be required to provide passengers a way to tip their drivers, despite its longstanding resistance, if a plan by New York City's taxi regulator is implemented.

Uber has said that the reason it doesn't allow tipping is because tips could create a bias among riders and drivers and could also lead to drivers spending most of their time in wealthier neighborhoods where the fare is likely to be higher. He continued, "Uber is always striving to offer the best earning opportunity for drivers and we are constantly working to improve the driver experience".

The proposal came about after the Independent Drivers Guild, a collection of Uber drivers, collected more than 11,000 signatures in support of having a tipping option built into the Uber app.

Uber said that's the reason it has partnered with IDG, an affiliate of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Union, to make sure its policies support drivers. Once the Rajya Sabha clears it, the new law will be in place which will allow state governments to enforce the new rules on regulating cabs and other taxis.

IDG, which formed last May, is a coalition of 50,000 drivers for companies like Uber, Lyft and Juno. Uber competitor Lyft already offers a tipping option in its app. He said he hopes the tipping option could spread to other cities or states through similar regulations if it takes hold in NY.

Reacting to the call for protest, Uber said in a statement that this time, the drivers can not obstruct others who are willing to come on duty.

"People do want to tip and they actually feel uncomfortable when they get out of the auto and they don't leave a tip for the driver", Conigliaro said.

"[Passenger] said he didn't have cash on hand but offered me a bag of chips which I accepted", wrote one driver from New Jersey on an Uber drivers forum.

The full proposal is expected to be introduced in a few months.

In a statement, Uber didn't say that it plans to oppose the rule.

The company is putting a good face on the TLC's decision, though a spokeswoman noted that it has yet to see the actual rules.

Today's victory means that the TLC has agreed to write a rule, which will have to be written, submitted to the public for comments, and ultimately voted on by the commission.

  • Eleanor Harrison