If you frequently use Uber, you're likely familiar with the three types of passenger experiences: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Uber has just announced a new program that will ban riders from using its service if they repeatedly receive low ratings from drivers. The Uber passenger ban will take effect in Canada, starting with a rollout in Toronto this month.
We'd all like to think that we fit the "perfect Uber rider" archetype; those who politely engage in conversation with the driver, those who arrive at their pick-up location on time, those who exit the vehicle without slamming the car door, etc.
And then, there's the other kind of Uber passenger. Those who are backseat drivers, those that eat and leave a mess in the car, the destructively drunk passengers who vomit all over the driver's freshly detailed car. You know the type.
Well, poorly-behaved Uber passengers, your time of revelling in debauchery is coming to an end. Uber will begin banning riders from using its service if they repeatedly receive low ratings from drivers, the company announced this morning.
Currently, Uber removes drivers with consistently low ratings on the app, using a five-star rating system. But Uber's new program will ensure that passengers no longer get off scotfree for failing to meet proper ridership standards. In the past, the only way a passenger could be banned from Uber was for committing severe offences.
Uber's new system will notify riders with bad ratings that they have several opportunities to improve their behaviour before Uber deactivates the rider's account for up to six months. Riders' accounts will only be deactivated if low ratings continue even after the warnings are issued.
The new program will be launched in May throughout Toronto and will roll out across Canada in the following weeks. Uber has not yet revealed what the minimum threshold rating for passengers will be, nor has the company determined how many chances riders will receive for their behaviour to improve.
The program is just one of the numerous components of Uber's new safety strategy. Uber also announced that speed notifications will soon alert drivers who are exceeding the posted limit through the driver's app screen. The company is also introducing a pilot "ride check," to detect sudden stops and collision, immediately enabling them to call 9-1-1 at the press of a button.
The company anticipates that these new safety features, along with the improvements added to the app last year, such as Check My Ride, trusted contacts, Safety ToolKit, an emergency assistance button, Beacon, 24/7 phone support, live rider locations and driver hour limits, will facilitate ongoing and continuous safety regulations for both drivers and passengers.