Uber has today confirmed that it now allows riders to tip drivers for rides taken. At the moment, the ability to tip drivers is only becoming available in a limited capacity. So for instance, from today (June 20), riders in Seattle, Minneapolis, and Houston, will be able to tip. Uber explains that over the next few weeks, tipping will become available in more regions with a view to all US riders and drivers able to make use of the feature by the close of July 2017.
As for the feature, drivers will first need to opt into receiving tips. Following which, the feature works similar to how it does on competing services like Lyft. Once a ride has been completed, the rider will be presented with the normal 'rate driver' screen although now it will include the option to quickly tap and award a tip to the driver. These quick tap options will be preset values, although there will also be a custom option for riders to select an exact amount they would like to tip. Riders have up until 30 days following a ride to award a driver a tip. This is being announced as a feature relevant to drivers more so than riders, and as such the announcement goes on to explain that the driver's trip summary will clearly highlight how much has been awarded as a tip – separate from the amount received for the ride in general. Likewise, tips received are instantly able to be cashed out by the driver at anytime time. The driver app will also come with dedicated features that allow drivers to track their tips, including notifying drivers (on app launch) of any tips that have come through since the last time the app was opened.
While tipping has proved to be a big concern for Uber (and its drivers), Uber has announced today's feature as part of a wider "180 days" campaign, where Uber notes that over the "the next 180 days (and beyond)" the company will be looking to change various aspects with the intention of improving driver pay. The tipping option is just the first of such actions. Others that will follow include two minute cancellation windows, no unpaid wait-times, an expansion of driver destinations, among others.