Hey Uber Drivers are you smiling yet?


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Uber tries to get its drivers smiling with latest app update
by Collen Kriel | Jun 7, 2016 | 0 comments

Claiming it wants to ease “very real pain points” raised by its drivers, Uber Technologies Inc. has introduced a variety of new changes for its driver-dedicated app. Changes include the ability for drivers to have more control over rider destinations, the option to go offline, better payment options and discounts on Uber rides.

Uber, who recently raised an additional $3.5 billion at a valuation of a staggering $62.5 billion, has faced multiple lawsuits recently from drivers. The most recent lawsuit was filed last week, June 2, and involves 5,000 Uber drivers from New York City who are suing over labor law violations.

While the new updates will not have an effect on Uber’s lawsuit woes it will help address the issues facing its drivers across 467 global cities.

Here is a look at the new set of changes for the driver-dedicated app.

Pick up passengers along a specific route

Uber will now allow drivers to input their destination, for instance if they are on their way home, and the ride-hailing service will only send them trip requests that are on their route. The feature has been tested with drivers in some U.S. cities and globally. The feature will now be expanded this week to over a dozen U.S. cities with international cities to be added soon.

Drivers to get paid for late riders
Uber piloted the late fee system in several U.S. cities, New York, New Jersey, Dallas, and Phoenix, in April and have now decided to expand it to a dozen U.S. cities this month. If an Uber driver is kept waiting longer than two minutes the late rider will be fined and the driver will get paid the late fee. Even though riders will be fined after two minutes, drivers will have to wait at least five minutes before the rider is deemed a no show and is charged the cancellation fee.

Take a break

Uber drivers will now have the ability to pause any new ride requests from coming in prior to their current trip ending. In the Current trips section of the driver-focused Partner app, drivers will be able to toggle the slider to Go offline, allowing them to enjoy a coffee break or end their Uber work day. The new pause feature will be piloted in several U.S. and international cities later this month.

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Uber drivers get discounts as passengers
Uber is encouraging its drivers to get into the backseat with the introduction of ride discounts. Uber drivers who are part of the pilot will get 15 percent off an uberX ride for every 10 trips they complete in a week while they will get 50 percent off an UberBLACK ride for every 20 trips they complete in a week.

Get paid instantly
The GoBank Uber Debit Card is now available to all drivers in U.S. markets allowing them to make use of the company’s Instant Pay option. With Instant Pay, drivers can get paid whenever they want without the need to wait for their weekly payout. Drivers can tap the Earnings tab in the driver app or click Instant Pay on the Uber partners site to apply for their GoBank Card.