Though similar in many ways, ride-hailing service Lyft offered its drivers one particular service not permitted for Uber drivers: tipping. But that's about to change, according to a company-wide email sent out to employees on Tuesday. As part of Uber's new initiative -- dubbed "180 Days of Change--the company is instating a wide range of new programs, such as tipping and shorter cancellation windows, in an effort to reverse its image following allegations of misogyny and sexual misconduct in the workplace.
One particular memo posted by Aaron Schildkrout, Head of Product, Driver and Rachel Holt, Regional General Manager, US, and Canada, discussed the "changes drivers have asked for."
It read, "Why now? Because it’s the right thing to do, it’s long overdue, and there’s no time like the present. This is just the beginning. We know there’s a long road ahead, but we won’t stop until we get there."
Besides the tipping service, which is now available in Seattle, Minneapolis, and Houston, Uber will also charge customers a cancellation fee after two minutes of ordering a car--three minutes shorter than the company's previous cancellation policy.
And frequently cited ire of many Uber drivers included inadequate insurance. As part of Uber's rebranding initiative, drivers have the option to protect themselves, and their earnings, in the event of a covered accident.
A "teen fare" of $2 will also be implemented to teens' accounts who use Uber's services.
The company's sweeping changes surfaced roughly one week after Uber CEO Travis Kalanick announced that he'll take an indefinite leave of absence. Following Kalanick's announcement, Uber also released a trove of recommendations brought forth by an investigation spearheaded by former attorney general Eric Holder.