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.
Brace for surge in fares and extended waiting time for the cabs to arrive as the drivers of two app-based cab aggregators - Ola and Uber - will go on a daylong strike against their "poor working conditions".
"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 company said.
The push to add the tipping option in New York City stemmed from a petition that was organized by the Independent Drivers Guild. Once the Rajya Sabha clears it, the new law will be in place which will allow state governments to enforce the new rules on regulating cabs and other taxis.
"[Uber] led riders and drivers alike to believe that the fares would cover the gratuities that always made up a big part of driver pay, but that's not what happened", Luiny Tavares, an IDG member and driver who quit his dispatcher job to work for Uber, told reporters today.
Guild member Luiny Tavares said that he drives for Uber as well as Lyft, and that through Lyft's tipping feature he nearly always makes back the company's 25 percent cut of his fares.
Reacting to the call for protest, Uber said in a statement that this time, the drivers can not obstruct others who are willing to come on duty. He said he hopes the tipping option could spread to other cities or states through similar regulations if it takes hold in NY. If I have a few singles on me, I'll try to do it, especially if the driver does something, like help loading a bag for a ride to the airport, or is just generally pleasant.
"People do want to tip", he said.
The proposed rule is supposed to be formally introduced by July.
Conigliaro, Jr. said on a call with press that the in-app change would provide much-needed income for drivers, at a time of fluctuating rates.
"[Passenger] said he didn't have cash on hand but offered me a bag of chips which I accepted", wrote one driver from New Jersey on an Uber drivers forum.
The company, which operates in 74 countries, says it now has 147,000 drivers on the Uber platform in California, accounting for almost one-fourth of its US total. After that, the commission's board will cast its vote.