Uber passengers have been able to rate their drivers for years, giving them influence on a driver’s eligibility to stay behind the wheel. Starting this summer, Uber drivers in the United States and Canada have had the ability to grade riders.
The policy was announced at the end of May. In a statement, Uber explained the new rating system aims to create an equal playing field for both drivers and passengers. The move came after a video circulated online of a Lyft rider brutally attacking a driver in Queens, New York.
“Respect is a two-way street, and so is accountability,” said Kate Parker, Uber’s head of safety brand and initiatives. “While we expect only a small number of riders to ultimately be impacted by ratings-based deactivations, it’s the right thing to do.”
Low ratings may lead to the rider being booted from all Uber-branded apps. Additionally, low-scoring riders are at risk of waiting longer to be picked up, as drivers may hesitate to accept the ride.
Currently, drivers risk losing their eligibility to drive if their rating goes below 4.6 out of 5 stars. According to Uber’s ratings for drivers, 5-4.8 is above average; 4.8-4.6 is below average, signifying that the driver needs to improve.
The standard for riders are more fluid. In an email to NPR, Uber Spokesmen Grant Klinzman said there would be no universal rating that determines a rider’s eligibility to use the app.
“Each city has its own minimum threshold which is directly related to the average rider rating in the city,” Klinzman said.
A rider can check her rating in the Uber app, which will direct her to a webpage that explains how the rating was calculated and provide suggestions on how to improve it. These suggestions include showing up on time, being respectful, and not leaving trash behind in the car.
Riders can also ensure a good rating by wearing seatbelts, not slamming doors, and not tipping drivers well.
Image by Pexels.