Lyft users can already add a tip to their drivers' fares, but that's not true in regards to Uber. Until now, that is.
It looks like things may be changing for the ride-hailing service. According to Business Insider, New York City is moving to require Uber to add tipping to its app.
The proposal, put forward by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), would require services that only accept credit and debit cards as payment — like Uber — to have a way for passengers to add a tip to their fares. TLC has until July to fine-tune its proposition before it comes before a public hearing and the commissions' board. Since Lyft already has the feature on its app, any new legislation wouldn't affect it.
Uber hasn't ever had a tipping feature built into its app because it claims that tipping would lead to unfair bias among its drivers. The company posits that tipping could have drivers frequenting more affluent areas, where fares would probably be higher.
"Uber is always striving to offer the best earning opportunity for drivers, and we are constantly working to improve the driver experience," the company said in a statement. "That's why, in New York City, we partnered with the Machinists Union to make sure current and future Uber NYC drivers have a stronger voice and launched a series of new tools and support policies for drivers."
TLC moved forward with its proposal after hearing from the Independent Drivers Guild. That organization collected over 11,000 signatures on a petition that called for Uber to add a tipping feature. The IDG claims that tipping could bring NYC drivers an extra $300 million per year.
"Drivers have long been denied access to the kinds of benefits and labor protections many workers take for granted, such as paid sick leave or the minimum wage," Jim Conigliaro Jr., cofounder of IDG, said in a statement. "As a result, New York City's professional drivers have traditionally depended on gratuities for a substantial portion of their income. Cuts to driver pay across the ride-hail industry has made tipping income more important than ever. The exploitation of ride-hail drivers must end, and this is an important first step."
Uber reps add that they haven't seen the official proposal yet, but say that they are excited to review it and work in cooperation with all parties involved.