In terms of the services they provide, the biggest difference between Uber and Lyft is the former doesn’t allow in-app tipping of its drivers. However, that could change, at least in one major city.
On Monday, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission granted the city’s Independent Drivers Guild’s petition to create a rule that would require Uber, and other ride-hailing services, to add in-app tipping options, USA TODAY reports. The commission will write the rule by July 1, after which it will undergo a 90-day public comment period.
Uber has long said the absence of in-app tipping is one of the features most liked by its users.
“Tipping is a consumer ‘dissatisfier,’ because it forces the customer to decide how much to give the driver as a gratuity, and it is difficult to know what is the right amount,” Jack Nerad, executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book, told USA TODAY.
The Guild reportedly estimates a tipping option could add up to $300 million in income per year for New York’s Uber drivers.
“New York City’s professional drivers have traditionally depended on gratuities for a substantial portion of their income,” Guild founder Jim Conigliaro, Jr. told USA TODAY. “Cuts to driver pay across the ride-hail industry has made tipping income more important than ever.”
If the rule goes into effect in New York, it reportedly will increase the chances of Uber adding the tipping option across the United States.
Although many users seemingly have been unfazed by Uber’s recent turmoil, a tipping option could deter them from riding as it has a direct financial impact on them. That in turn could cause investors to follow many executives’ leads and jump ship.
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