- Robert Galbraith/Reuters
On Tuesday, Uber announced it added a tipping option for drivers as part of its “180 Days of Change” campaign.
Later Tuesday night, news broke that CEO Travis Kalanick was resigning.
Tips are something Uber drivers have long been asking the company to support and to drivers the timing doesn’t feel like a coincidence.
“A lot of drivers blame Travis for everything that is wrong with Uber,” said Harry Campbell, Uber driver and author of The Ride Share Guy blog.
“Uber did more to improve the driver experience yesterday than they have in the past one or two years,” Campbell said.
On Tuesday, Uber drivers received a mass email from Uber detailing the tipping policy and a host of other practices meant to benefit drivers. This isn’t the first time drivers have received emails with promises of change, but Campbell thinks the announcement about tipping and Travis’ departure signal that this time the company is serious.
Along with tipping, Uber announced a per-minute-wait-time fee, a cancellation fee for riders who cancel a trip more than two minutes after the driver accepts, and an expansion of its driver injury protection plan.
Even though Uber as a company has been rocked with scandal over the past few months, the day-to-day operations for drivers has remained steady, these drivers told us. For their part, they remain more focused on earning a living than internal company politics.
And some are taking a wait-and-see attitude. Cesar Diaz, who has been driving for Uber for over two years, thinks the new policy and Travis’ departure is a step in the right direction, but isn’t convinced it will actually mean better wages for drivers.
He wrote in an email to Business Insider that because people are so accustomed to not tipping, they won’t start giving tips to drivers just because of a policy.
In response to the driver’s comments, Uber pointed us to a blog post the company released on June 20. In it, they expressed their desire to implement positive changes to the driver experience, and acknowledged they had a lot of work to do; “This is just the beginning. We know there’s a long road ahead, but we won’t stop until we get there.”