Lyft ups tipping options after drivers rake in more than $250 million

The next time you take an expensive Lyft ride, you may be urged to pony up a bit more to tip your driver.

For rides of more than $25, the app will begin showing tipping options of $2, $5 and $10 — instead of the current choices of $1, $2 and $5, the San Francisco-based ride-hailing company said Monday.

“Lyft drivers go above and beyond, making millions of days and smoothing out countless commutes,” the company wrote in a blog post. “Now we’re making it just a bit easier to say thank you for all that hard work.”

The move comes as drivers continue to rake in tips on the app. And Lyft continues to hold that fact up as an example of why the ride-hailing company stands apart from its larger and more controversial rival Uber, which doesn’t allow riders to tip their drivers using the app — something Uber drivers have long complained about.

Lyft drivers have made more than $250 million in tips on the app to date, the company said Monday. That means drivers have made about $50 million since March, when Lyft announced drivers reached $200 million in tips. Lyft drivers made $100 million in tips during the first four years, according to the company.

Lyft’s tipping news marks the company’s latest move to differentiate itself from Uber, as the larger ride-hailing company faces national scrutiny over claims of sexual harassment and other unprofessional conduct, a criminal investigation over its use of software to evade law enforcement stings and a lawsuit accusing Uber of stealing self-driving car technology from rival Waymo. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said last week he will take a leave of absence and work on becoming a better leader.

While Uber struggles, Lyft has launched a positive PR blitz, seizing the opportunity to grab more of the ride-hailing market. In recent weeks Lyft launched its “round up & donate” campaign to let passengers round up their fares and give the extra change to charity, and partnered with to donate 20 percent of proceeds from April’s “Equal Pay Day” to organizations that serve women and their families. And Lyft recently revealed it launched in 131 cities in the first three months of 2017 — making short work of its prior goal to reach 100 new markets in all of 2017.

Photo: A Lyft drivers gives passengers a ride. (Courtesy of Lyft)


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