Uber is making additional changes to its driver-side app by allowing drivers to set more destinations and offering “long trip notifications” to tell a driver when a rider is requesting a ride that’s 45 minutes or longer.
The company will also stop penalizing drivers who turn down trips. Previously, when a driver turned down potential trips, it could affect promotions and account standing.
The changes are part of a process the company is calling “180 Days of Change,” which it says will transform the driver experience for the 2 million people who drive for Uber each week. It began about two months ago with the notable addition of tipping to the app. Uber US and Canada manager Rachel Holt told several press outlets that the company’s drivers have earned $50 million in tips since that feature was added. In-app tipping became available nationwide in mid-July.
In addition to tipping, the changes increased driver pay for wait time and reduced the “cancellation window” from five minutes to two minutes.
Before the changes were implemented, drivers were able to set destinations twice per day, which allowed them to get ride-hailing work while also heading in a direction they wanted to go anyhow. Now they can do that six times per day.
The long trip notifications still won’t tell drivers where a rider is going until that rider is picked up. It will just be a simple alert letting the driver know that the ride is estimated to take longer than 45 minutes. Holt told TechCrunch that most drivers like longer rides, since they earn more money. But they also want to be able to plan for breaks, and the notifications will help with that.
The “180 Days of Change” campaign came a week after Uber put into effect changes recommended by an internal investigation. That included the firing of some executives and the resignation of then-CEO Travis Kalanick.
The company is still waiting for a new CEO. The Associated Press reported Monday that former GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt is among the finalists for the position.