Uber in-app tipping option proposed by Taxi and Limousine Commission

The TLC aims to introduce its rule within the coming months.

Here’s a tip: The city could soon require Uber to offer a tipping option in its app.

The forthcoming Taxi and Limousine Commission rule proposal comes after months of campaigning from drivers looking to earn a bit of extra revenue with each tip.

“We won a leap forward,” the Independent Drivers Guild tweeted on Monday. “This is only the beginning of what we can win when we stand together.”

Drivers are losing thousands of dollars without a straightforward, in-app tipping option, according to the guild, which organized the campaign for the feature and launched a petition that has collected more than 11,000 signatures.

Uber had initially resisted such a feature, arguing that it goes against Uber’s “hassle-free” rider experience, though the company had met with the guild, a branch of the Machinists Union, on the feature.

“Uber is always striving to offer the best earning opportunity for drivers and we are constantly working to improve the driver experience,” said an Uber spokeswoman in a statement. “That’s why, in New York City, we partnered with the Machinists Union to make sure current and future Uber NYC drivers have a stronger voice and launched a series of new tools and support policies for drivers.”

The TLC aims to introduce its rule within the coming months, which will be followed by a 30-day comment period and a public hearing. After that, the commission’s board will cast its vote.

“This rule proposal will be an important first step to improve earning potential in the For-Hire Vehicle industry, but it is just one piece of a more comprehensive effort to improve the economic well-being of drivers,” said Meera Joshi, the TLC commissioner, in a statement.

The rule could have implications in other cities where Uber operates. A bill that would require a similar feature has been introduced in California.

Vincent Barone