Ride-Hailing Apps In NYC One Step Away From In-App Tipping

A month ago, Uber rolled out optional in-app tipping nationwide, which made it look a little more driver-friendly while stuck in a traffic jam of terrible publicity. We’re sure that change had nothing to do with what happened in New York’s City Council today: A bill that would require ride-hailing apps to let customers tip within the app passed the transportation committee and is on its way to the mayor’s desk.

Uber’s competitor Lyft, which markets itself as a fuzzier alternative that’s kinder to its drivers, offers in-app tipping, as do New York-centric competitors Gett and Juno, which merged this year. Drivers lobbied to have tips added to Uber, and the city made them part of the regulations governing ride-hailing apps that do business in New York.

The logic goes that passengers who want to leave tips should be able to, using the same method of payment that they used for the ride itself, since not everyone necessarily carries cash anymore.

Apps will also be required to suggest tips that start at 20% of the fare, as the credit card terminals in yellow taxis do.

“Tipping is a vitally important source of income for thousands of families who are struggling to make ends meet right now,” Jim Conigliaro, Jr, founder of the Independent Drivers Guild, which isn’t a union but represents ride-hailing app drivers in New York City and negotiates with Uber. “We were proud to lead the way on tipping on behalf of drivers in New York City and across the nation.”

The mayor now has 30 days to sign, veto, or ignore the legislation. If he doesn’t sign it within 30 days, it will become law.