Only 35% of Uber/Lyft riders always tip

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Always tip.

This is another argument for why they’re employees; not ndependent contractors. You don’t tip the business owner - if they weren’t employees - Uber/Lyft wouldn’t have built in a tipping mechanism.


Why always?

I can think of two times when I didn’t tip:

  • The driver drove into oncoming traffic
  • I was dropped off in a field two miles past my destination

Value added service?


Yes tip, but remember to be kind, polite, and treat service folks with compassion, they rarely do that job because it’s their passion, they have that job due to no access to other opportunities.

No replacement for proper good manners.


Also, preferably in cash, as it prevents Door Dash level fuckery.


Outliers are a thing.

I recall as a high-school student being part of the outcry that got a bus-driver fired.

He was inclined to look up at the passenger observation mirror while driving and laugh maniacally for reasons that we, his passengers, could not comprehend. We mostly considered he was eccentric or tripping balls.

The kicker came when, one snowy day, someone threw a couple of snowballs at the bus. I did not know, until that time, how fast a school bus could go in reverse. It turned out the answer was terrifying-miles-per-hour.

I believe literally every kid on the bus at the time of that incident must have brought up the topic at home, because we had a new driver the next day and never saw the mirror laugher again.



When Uber first started there was no tipping option and their FAQs made it clear that tips weren’t expected. Lyft introduced tipping pretty quickly to try to distinguish themselves as more driver friendly, and eventually Uber relented, but it would have been far better if they’d all just set their prices at a level that was reasonable for drivers and made it crystal clear that tipping wasn’t expected. Soooooo much better.


I keep a tip jar in my car, make it clearly visible, and when folks talk about “but I thought tipping was included” I let them know — not only is it NOT optional included, but our rates have been halved in the last two years. Uber’s take has stayed the same, leaving us to live off the rest.

When I first started driving for Uber, I could drive for about a dollar a mile and $0.20 a minute.

Now, it is $0.52 a mile and $0.12 a minute.

And it is one of the reasons if you aren’t to my car in the allotted time, I’ll cancel you and take the cancelation fee…even if I see you walking out of the building 5 minutes after I pulled up. I’m not waiting around for less than minimum wage. At $0.20 a minute…I might…because that is still $12 an hour to wait for you. My day job makes a lot more, I’m not selling myself short.

As for the $0.52 a mile…the IRS claims that a properly maintained commercial vehicle 5 years old or less costs $0.51 a mile to maintain. Gas, oil, cleaning, other maintenance. That is ONE CENT A MILE.

Personally, I will only drive during surges. And Uber has PURPOSELY changed this so drivers don’t get what we used to. We used to know that a 2X surge meant that all of this was doubled. A 2X surge was what we used to get paid. It was ‘fair’ but still not a professional wage. Taxis are generally about $1.80 a mile in Chicago…$3.50 to start…$0.40 a minute. It costs more for every extra passenger you have in your car. And you CAN’T RATE THEM.

This is the equivalent of a 4X surge (unless you come from the airport…in which…expect these fees to double). And folks STILL tip them. And they take home the majority of the wages — and are often owner / operators.

If you get into an Uber and give anything less than a 5-Star rating and tip anything less than 20% of the TOTAL ride, you are trash. Would you consider tipping your waitress anything less? And they aren’t even driving the restaurant they brought from home and have to pay their own insurance for you to get into.

Personally? I drive because I like too. I have a stressful day job and I like to turn my head off once or twice a week. If you don’t tip me, life goes on. And I only drive during surges, which means I still get more money than normal. The VAST MAJORITY OF THE DRIVERS are driving on the standard fee just trying to stay afloat. Again, if I don’t get tipped…life goes on. If they don’t get tipped…they might not eat. Or their kid might not. And they might not be able to pay rent. Because at standard rates, you are expecting them to practically work for free. You are asking them to work for one cent a mile and less than minimum wage. The tip is the difference between making money or coming home with less money that they could have make from begging on the street corner.

This stuff makes me a little angry…not because I’m not getting paid (I average about $35 an hour when I drive…actually a bit more lately) but because I see these other folks suffering. And I KNOW they are working far harder than I am…I just have the privilege of working only profitable hours and going home when its not.


This is why I’ve always said - Uber and Lyft would have both been successful and long term more profitable for them and for the drivers - if they would have just priced themselves about the same as cab services but sold themselves as a new model.
The fact that I can pull up an app and have someone at my house or at the airport for a pickup in minutes with ease is the real sell for me. And given how many people use the services for work anyway, they don’t care how much it costs since they’re either going to write it off or expense it.
The bulk of the rides I take are for when I travel for work, though we also use it when we’re going to go out for the night and don’t want to worry about which one of us (me or my wife) is going to be the designated driver.


Taxi drivers get the rates they do because their industry is regulated. The business contracts with the local municipality, and negotiates a rate that allows the drivers to make a reasonable amount, etc. etc. When I get in a taxi I know that the vehicle has been inspected, has insurance, the driver is tested regularly, and there are channels for redress if there’s a problem.
Uber and Lyft are unregulated and thus their employees and associates have no recourse when they get screwed over. I have no way of knowing if you are a good driver, know your way around or had the brakes fixed. I’m sure most drivers are fine people, but the whole thing really makes me nervous.
I wonder how many people that use Uber and Lyft also argue that we need more, better public transit, and decry environmental degradation.
As far as I remember, Lyft started as a peer to peer system to reduce the number of cars on the road by setting up a way for people to share rides. Costs were agreed upon between the parties, and Lyft got a fee for the service. Then they morphed into a taxi business, actually adding to the number of cars on the road, started regulating fees and driver reimbursement and so on.
As taxi companies Uber and Lyft are financially unsustainable.


Europeans laugh at that number.

The vast majority of Uber/Lyft rides I’ve had have been perfectly fine and received a 5-star rating and a healthy tip.

But when a driver goes the wrong way, gets lost, then decides I should probably just get out because he’s tired of driving, I’m not the one who’s trash.


You have insurance if anything happens to you. The drivers, on the other hand, do not.

Here in Indy, an Uber driver and his passenger were both killed by a drunk driver. The passenger was drunk, did the right thing and called for a ride home. He also got sick on the way home and the drive pulled off the side of the road for him to vomit. They were WELL off the side of the road when a drunk driver ran into both, killing them both instantly.

The passenger got SEVERAL million dollars. He was also an NFL player for the Colts and it was wise for Uber to pay up. The driver? NOTHING. His widow has been waiting for over a year. The owner of the Indianapolis Colts paid for his funeral because they couldn’t afford it.

We have insurance, if anything happens YOU are covered. We are not. Nor our vehicles. Unless we pay. And even when paying for it, they will find a way not to pay.

Then take a taxi. Don’t say, “I’m scart! Please allow me to pay this hopefully fine driver, but maybe also a serial killer, a quarter of what I should”.

Here in Indy, we actually FINALLY got a decent bus line because all the statistics showed that folks were using Uber / Lyft for a good amount of rides between certain parts of the city. Now we have dedicated bus lanes and an express bus that runs on 100% renewable energy and runs ever 15 minutes…unlike out old one that ran every half hour to an hour and a half…depending on if the drivers felt like it. No seriously, our old system was trash. I ride my bike to work every day – it was raining yesterday, I put on my Frogg Toggs (rain suit) and biked in through the wet. I drive pretty much only the weekend…which is why I Uber.

I LOVE public transportation…hoping we get more lines like the one that just opened…


I think we both can agree I meant the vast majority of rides where 99% of the time you get to where you were supposed to and didn’t die!

You didn’t die yet, have you?

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By the way, ghosts are horrible tippers.


Tipping is generally my rule, unless the person providing the service does something particularly egregious to fuck it up.

Game over, you win; pack it up, everyone.


TIPPING: the ultimate maximum virtue signaling topic


Don’t hold back, tell us what you really feel.

I dunno. If the service was really kinda meh at best and I tip 18% anyway, am I still trash?

What if I get a table for 8 with the ladies from church group, stay there two hours, am rude to the waitress even though she’s nice to me, and all I leave is a Bible tract. How about then?

So how much am I supposed to tip food trucks? If I tip less than 40% am I trash?