Uber app tip option will help local drivers

Uber now will allow drivers to tip their drivers.

If any Uber driver deserves a tip, it's Dominic Accettola.

He's been driving part-time for Uber since March 2016, which he took up after retiring from his full-time job.

"I enjoy driving and meeting people. Some of them are quite nice," he said.

We met him on Tuesday, in the middle of a mid-shift snafu.

"Well, I didn't know it was a stranded reporter at that point," he said, recalling the moment he picked me up at the Four Points Sheraton in North Natomas, where I was shooting my story for that day. "You then told me that you had run out of gas because another driver of that particular vehicle had neglected to leave you enough gas to do anything with."

Yes, while on deadline, in the hot weather, my vehicle ran out of gas, so I hailed an Uber driver to take me to a gas station and then back to my empty vehicle.

Fortunately, Accettola responded to my request.

Once I bought the gas container - which wasn't particularly user-friendly, Accettola offered to help me fill it up. And when we returned to my vehicle, he poured the contents into the gas tank, spilling some fuel on his hands in the process.

He went above and beyond any reasonable expectations of customer service. I was so grateful for his selfless help, which made my hectic day and unexpected delay a little better.

I wanted to tip him and I didn't have cash on me, but all you can leave in Uber's app is glowing feedback. No gratuity.

That is poised to change.

This week, Uber announced it's rolling out a tipping option in its app, allowing satisfied passengers like me to leave a monetary "thanks" for their driver.

"The money we make driving for Uber, at least in my case, pretty much works out to about minimum wage, so we appreciate any tips that come our way," Accettola said.

Uber's competitor Lyft has long offered tipping, to the frustration of Uber's drivers.

"I guess enough drivers have commented to Uber that we would like that also," Accettola said.

Uber has rolled out this new tipping option in three cities - Minneapolis, Seattle and Houston - and plans on making it available nationwide later this summer.

For now, passengers can tip in cash until the app is changed here, especially if your driver goes above and beyond.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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