Tipping from the passenger’s perspective

Nowadays we have all been used to getting around by using the various ridesharing companies such as Lyft or Uber. It is extremely convenient to call for a ride and pay for it just by using an app on your smartphone. When you do use this rideshare services do you tip your driver or not?For some reason, even though are used to tipping waiters, baristas and valets, when it comes to rideshare drivers they neglect to do so. At the same time those who actually do tip their drivers wonder whether they should do it or not.

Everyone is confused when it comes to ridesharing and typing. A lot of people do not fully comprehend how the payment process works for ridesharing companies, especially when it come to Uber. Most people assume that the tip is already included in the fare since the whole payment process takes place within the ridesharing app while other people don’t even know that they can tip their drivers.

If you choose to google whether you should tip your driver, thousands of results appear. From them it is very easy to see that tipping is very confusing issue for rideshare users who don’t know whether it is required, included or even appropriate.

In the past Uber’s official suggestion was that tipping was not necessary. However Uber recently decided to update its tipping policy. This past June the company announced that would be rolling out a new tipping feature , allowing passengers to tip their drivers through the app.

PAST

Uber announced that it would firstly roll out this feature in Houston, Minneapolis and Seattle and that this feature would be available to all by the end of July. The company announced this feature as part of its “180 Days of Change” campaign.

In the past Uber didn’t allow its passengers to tip their drivers which was reinforced by the fact that there was no tipping option within the app for riders to use. Uber indicated that tips were included in the fare , something that a lot of people that do not carry cash and prefer simple and quick transactions. It is worth mentioning that drivers were actually ordered to turn down potential tips and only accept one if the rider was extremely persistent. This meant that, based on Uber’s policy, drivers would on average receive a tip from 1 out of 100 riders

Uber claimed that this policy was based on the fact that Uber drivers earn $6 per hour more than what taxi drivers do. However this argument failed to take into account the fact that Uber drivers are the ones responsible for maintenance and gas. Additionally they do not receive any employment benefits since they are not considered as employees, thus leading up getting paid way less than taxi drivers.

In 2016, courts sided with Uber drivers , forcing the company to charge its official policy. Apart from various benefits the company would have to offer its drivers, it would also have to allow its drivers indicate to passengers that tips are not included to the fare and place tip jars or signs. Furthermore, wouldn’t get deactivated based on their ride acceptance rate.

A bad thing that came out of the court case against Uber is that Uber doesn’t have to recognize its drivers as employees and it can keep classifying them as independent contractors. That means that drivers are still not eligible for any king of employee benefits such as overtime, sick leave or health care.

PRESENT

Even though the new policy is slowing increasing the number of tips drivers get every month, it will take some time for this to become a habit for riders.

Tipping is still considered optional for riders, however if they choose not to tip they will have to face the consequences such as low rating from the driver’s side, leading eventually to drivers choosing which rider to accept based on the tipping habits. This is reinforced by the fact that they cannot get deactivated for being too picking anymore.

When it comes to Lyft, things are way simpler. Lyft allows its passengers at the end of their ride to add a tip simply by using the app. At the end of the ride each passenger is presented with a “add tip” button , if he was satisfied with his ride all he has has to do is click on the button and its done.

If someone needs more information about the tipping process or anything related to tipping, they can just visit the Lyft site where they can find a lot of information about it.

The site clearly indicates that even though tipping is not requires it can extremely beneficial to a driver. The site indicates that the passenger can choose themselves the amount of money the want to tip the driver and that this amount is going to be charged straight to their credit card. But the most important information is that drivers get to keep 100% of their tips.

Furthermore Lyft offers the option to tip your driver after the ride has ended and you have already paid the fare in order to deal with the “I forgot to tip” kind of situations.

Finally when it comes to legislation, New York City officials are planning to introduce a proposal indicating that companies like Uber would have to offer a tipping option within the app to their passengers. This proposal is expected to to finalized soon.