Tipping drivers: New York's latest battle with Uber

What has made things worse this time is the fact that rivals of Ola Uber drivers kaali-peeli taxi operators have joined hands

A pro-tipping rule in NY would be a big victory for the Independent Drivers Guild, an organization that Uber helped set up previous year in conjunction with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, a trade union. Unlike competitor Lyft, Uber does not now enable passengers to tip through its app.

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Today, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission said it was considering enacting a new rule that would require vehicle service companies like Uber to offer a way to tip that was commensurate with the method of payment. Nobody's explicitly saying this is a shot at Uber, but Lyft has included tipping since 2012 and Fasten allowed tipping in 2016, so Uber's pretty clearly the only holdout. The Delhi High Court, after hearing Uber's plea, passed an interim order restraining anyone, including two taxi drivers' unions, from "hampering" and interfering with the running of app-based cabs of Uber India.

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The consumer protection arm of the California Public Utility Commission found Uber Technologies has violated "zero-tolerance" rules governing drunken-driving complaints on 151 occasions over the course of a year, out of 154 complaints reviewed.

Drivers' organizations say they are thrilled that the TLC is considering the rule. "We thank Chairman Joshi and the commission for holding Uber to the same standard as the rest of the industry on tipping and look forward to working together on further reforms to protect our city's working drivers".

"People do want to tip and they actually feel uncomfortable when they get out of the vehicle and they don't leave a tip for the driver", Conigliaro said.

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If New York City does force Uber to tip it could increase pressure on Uber from drivers in other cities around the world - many of which have concocted inventive ways to encourage tipping, often in vain as many riders do not have cash on hand.

In January, Uber paid the Federal Trade Commission $20 million to settle claims that it misled drivers about pay. In New York, a petition from the Independent Drivers Guild contends that drivers are missing out on thousands of dollars because there is no electronic tipping option.

The IDG based its tip-revenue projections on the fact that nearly all taxi passengers tip, and most tip 20%.

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Those who are exclusively accepting payments in cash, would be able to continue accepting tips through the same channel as well and won't be required to offer a card-based tipping method. For example, it added the ability for riders to offer "compliments" to drivers in November 2016 - a move that was criticized by some, who said "compliments don't pay the bills".

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