Uber Drivers Are More Likely to Cancel on Riders with Black-Sounding Names

Last Updated on by B. Thermidor

Uber serves as an earning opportunity by providing several ways to strength local economies; improve access to the remote regions. The objective of Uber was to make transportation as reliable as possible.

With the introduction of this app, many with no vehicles enjoy pleasure of requesting a secure and reliable ride.

Yet another attack on the fame of the company is the racial discrimination among the passengers as well as drivers. A control group of 8 research assistants from various regions and races were selected to request rides. 2 African American women, 2 African American men, 2 white women, and 2 white men.

It was observed that the drivers cancel their drive upon judging a passenger by their name. If a driver is a white man then he would refrain to have an African in his car. However, when the same person requests for an Uber with a changed name the drivers accepts the new assignments.

The study showed that not only do African American passengers experience longer wait times, they’re subject to higher cancellation rates from drivers.

Besides these racial discrimination incidents, it was also observed that women are offered longer and pricier rides as compared to the men. The only possible reason suggested for the cause is that most women are unaware of the routes and thus they can be carried to their destination following a direction requires more distance to be covered and thus making the drivers more money.

The problem is not only associated with Uber, similar problems are faced by other ride providers like Lyft. However, the rejection rate owing to racial discrimination is quite less as compared to Uber. Researchers suggest that a possible reason for the cause lies in the interface of Apps.

Lyft requires a display picture along with the name of passenger and driver so it would aid a lot to both of them. Moreover, they can cancel the assignment before contacting their passenger. Thus, it provides users to communicate with different locals of individual.

To sum up all, ride sharing apps are a good advancement in the field of transportation as they enable people to access the cabs easily and provide them a reliable and safer ride. In providing the quality service a few cons are observed that can be eliminated with the passage of time. Uber and Lyft both have mentioned that there isn’t any discrimination and if there’s any, it will be eliminated and dealt with.

The study was published by researchers at MIT, Stanford, and the University of Washington, recorded data from 1,500 rides in Boston MA and Seattle WA.

Uber drivers get discriminated against too (My opinion)

One thing this study didn’t cover was the fact that Uber drivers get discriminated based on their names and skin color as well.  Uber riders get to see not only the drivers’ name but also their photos when they’re assigned a ride.

I can’t tell you how many times I heard Uber drivers complain how their ratings plummeted and the minute they change their nicknames to more western like. They’ve seen big improvement.

A Middle Eastern man who drives for Uber goes by the name “Samiir”, kept getting low ratings to the point where he received a warning of being deactivated.  He changed his profile name to “Sam”, he told me that he saw his Uber ratings kept going up and he received twenty 5-star ratings consecutively.

You can call that whatever you want, but it’s clearly not a coincidence his driver ratings improve the minute he changed his name to a more traditional American name.

Higher cancellations rates may not necessarily racist.

I’m not going to dispute that a few or some Uber drivers won’t go to pick up riders to a black neighborhood at a certain time. As the study shows, those with black-sounding names (Laquisha, Precious, DeAndre, Trevon…) get cancelled more than those with white sounding names (Scott, Cody, Emily, Heather…)

But sometimes after you accept a request, only to find out it is 20-25 minutes away. I don’t care if you’re Black or White; I’m not going to drive that far.  Most of the time you make a long drive to pick up a rider and it ends up being a short ride. And Uber passengers don’t usually tip. So, I give the benefit of the doubt that some drivers will just cancel, if it turns out a white driver who just cancel on a black person or vise versa, it’s not discrimination.