Uber plans to roll out an in-app feature later this month that allows Greenville passengers to tip their drivers.
The ride-hailing service introduced the tipping feature earlier this month in three U.S. markets – Seattle, Minneapolis, and Houston. It has since made the feature available in Charleston and 120 other cities.
The feature will be available in Greenville and Columbia by the end of July.
Passengers will be able to tip $1, $2, $5, or a custom amount. Riders are not required to tip drivers, and unlike normal fares, Uber will not take a cut of the tips.
For years, Uber has refused to introduce a tipping feature that would add gratuity to passengers’ credit cards, claiming it would interrupt its “seamless” checkout process and make customers feel pressured to pay more.
The issue became more complicated when South Carolina and 12 other states banned Uber and Lyft drivers from accepting cash in 2015. Moreover, Lyft has allowed passengers to tip drivers since it arrived in South Carolina last summer.
Uber decided to roll out tipping as part of its “180 days of change campaign,” which aims to make amends with its drivers, who have complained about fares for years.
The company has seen a sharp drop in retention rates for new drivers in the U.S., according to analysis of the Uber driver app by analytics firm Apptopia. The firm estimates that 30-day user retention for the Uber driver app in the U.S. has dropped 47 percent from January through May.
The decrease could be a result of a series of scandals, including claims of sexual harassment at Uber’s corporate offices and the release of a video of the company’s founder Travis Kalanick berating a driver who complained about fares.
Kalanick resigned as CEO last month, and Uber said it would put a new emphasis on collecting driver feedback in order to improve their experience. However, Lyft has since cut into Uber’s market share.
For more information, visit uber.com.