New changes are coming to Uber that should make drivers happier — without raising fares for riders.
The new programs, which should roll out in cities nationwide this month, are likely a gesture of goodwill toward drivers after the company lowered its prices earlier this year, Bloomberg reports. Uber decreased prices in several U.S. cities in January in response to a slowdown after the holidays. The fare cuts were meant to incentivise riders to spend more on the app, meaning drivers would make more money, but drivers weren’t happy.
Here are some of the new changes for drivers coming to the app:
- Drivers will be able to pause incoming ride requests before finishing their shift rather than manually declining them
- Riders in several cities will now be charged starting two minutes after their Uber arrives in order to compensate drivers who have to wait for their riders
- Drivers will now be able to search for cheaper gas prices through the app, much like Google’s Waze navigation app, which is widely used by Uber drivers
- Drivers can now enter their destination, which will allow them to be set up with a rider who’s headed in a similar direction. This is a feature already offered on Uber’s competitor, Lyft, but will only be available in about a dozen U.S. cities
- Active drivers in some cities will also be able to get a discount on their own Uber rides when they’re not working.
According to Harry Campbell, who writes a blog for rideshare drivers, these changes don’t go far enough to address driver’s discontent. Drivers are most concerned about higher fares and the option for riders to tip within the app, he told Bloomberg.