As it seeks to turn around its ailing brand image, Uber Technologies Inc. said that it has added a tipping option to its app, starting Tuesday in Seattle, Minneapolis and Houston. The company said it will add more cities in the coming weeks to eventually make tips available in all cities by the end of July. Uber had been criticized by drivers for not including a tip option in its app, while rival Lyft and others have had that option. Uber said the move was "the right thing to do" and "long overdue." The tipping decision is apparently part of Uber's 180-days-of-change initiative, which also includes a shortened cancellation window for drivers to receive a fee, a paid per-minute rate if a driver waits more than two minutes for the fare, an additional $2 fee if the driver has a teenager as a passenger, and driver injury protection insurance. Uber is making these changes after its chief executive, Travis Kalanick, announced a leave of absence last week and after a report, sparked by a former engineer's claims of harassment at the company, outlined steps Uber needed to take to upgrade its culture.
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