Travel

Uber adds driver tipping, wait time charges and other app enhancements

Announces a 180 days of change initiative amongst criticism of driver treatment and increased competition from rival apps

Many of us are hooked on the Uber app, creating a loss when we visit a city which doesn’t host a Uber network. The advantages are huge, encouraging changes such as improved safety on a night out, including being able to track where loved ones are being transported to/from and reduced drink-driving incidents in every city it has operated.

Somewhat ironically it’s the drivers that do not love the network. Pay is often not as as touted, benefits are non-existent and there has been incidents of the CEO cursing at drivers.

As part of the 180 days of change, and with the drivers in mind, Uber has implemented the first round of improvements. Tipping is one of the first features to be added in select US cities and this will be launched nationwide in July with further countries to follow. This is despite Uber stating they did not want to add tipping in order to keep the costs simple. There is also a reduced two minute cancellation window (instead of the current five) and drivers will earn for each minute if they wait after the initial 2 minutes after turning up to pickup a rider (much like a regular taxi service).

There are also very driver-specific changes towards internal pay changes such as the way quick pay is made available. A welcome change will also be the driver insurance scheme which will be available through AON. Finally, there is the addition of a rather strange $2 surcharge for transporting teen riders.

Whether these changes will have a positive impact on the Uber network and its drivers remains to be seen. The next round of 180 days of change will be announced in July and continue through the next 6 months.

See the Uber website for more information on the 180 days of change.

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Alex is the co-founder of Short Motivation and currently resides in Texas, heading up the US part of the website. He's busy with his PT qualifications and in the planning stages of Short Motivation events across the US later this year.