Ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft have proven to be extremely popular. The ease of access and simplicity of the system have changed the way that public transportation works for many people. This technology, however, exposes a potential pitfall. A recent study has shown troubling results indicating discrimination from Uber and Lyft drivers, mainly targeted towards minority passengers and women.
Researchers Find Problematic and Discriminatory Trends Among Uber and Lyft Drivers
The study was conducted in Seattle and Boston, and included almost 1,500 rides. Four black and four white research assistants, evenly split in gender, ordered cars over six weeks. The researchers used photos on their ride-sharing apps, and used names which would be stereotypically “white-sounding” or “black-sounding.” The researchers found that Uber drivers canceled more frequently on passengers with names that were stereotypically “black-sounding,” resulting in longer total wait times.
While there were not similar results for Lyft drivers, this is theorized to be because Lyft drivers can see a passenger’s name and photo before accepting the job, while Uber drivers cannot see their potential passengers until they have accepted them. For this reason, Uber drivers would need to notify their potential passenger that they would be picking them up before canceling, while Lyft drivers could simply screen out minority passengers.
In addition to this, problematic trends were also found with the treatment of women passengers. Female researchers observed that they were often taken on longer rides than male researchers, sometimes even being taken on repetitive and circuitous routes to artificially prolong the time of the ride. In addition, many reported overly-chatty and potentially “flirty” drivers. Researchers raise the concern that many drivers are both profiteering and flirting to a captive audience in the case of female passengers.
Bucks County Discrimination Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Fight Against All Forms of Discrimination in Bucks County
The results of these studies show how common such discriminatory mindsets still are in society. If you or someone you know has been the victim of discrimination, then the Bucks County discrimination lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. are ready to advocate for you. To schedule a consultation, call us today at 215-569-1999 or contact us online. From our offices in Center City, Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients in Pennsylvania, South Jersey, and New York.