Uber launched an in-app tipping option for riders in Minneapolis, Seattle and Houston starting Tuesday, the company announced on its site today, and it will come to all other markets, including Boston, by the end of July.
The new tipping option is one of several changes Uber is making to its driver earning policy. Others include shorter cancellation windows, no more unpaid driver wait time, additional fares for teen riders and injury protection insurance for drivers.
Uber won’t collect on tips, but will continue to take a cut of cancellation fees and time-waiting charges.
The tipping option has long been available through Lyft, Uber’s primary rival. Four years after launch, Lyft drivers have earned more than $250M in tips. Two-and-a-half months ago, that number was $200 million, indicating that tips are a pouring in faster now than ever before.
Uber previously got into trouble for its driver earnings policy in Minneapolis when they advertised on Craigslist that UberX drivers could earn $18/hour in the city. According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, only 10 percent of drivers bring in that much money. The FTC sued Uber for this and similar misleading earning claims in other cities. The company agreed to pay $20 million, but never admitted wrongdoing.
“We’re starting with only 3 cities so we can create the best tipping experience for you and your riders,” Uber’s head of U.S. operations said in a release today.
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