Do Uber And Lyft Discriminate Against Black People Just As Much As Regular Taxis?

November 1, 2016  |  

It used to be that Black people, especially Black men, were passed up by taxi cabs whenever they tried to hail them for a ride. So many were thrilled by the prospect of alternative transportation services, which is why Uber took off so quickly, and subsequently Lyft. But now it seems it is still hard for Black passengers to get a ride, even with these new services.

According to a new study, Uber and Lyft have a “pattern of discrimination” against Black passengers and the discrimination comes in several forms. The study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that “ride-hail drivers took female passengers on ‘longer, more expensive rides’ in Boston, possibly due to ‘a combination of profiteering and flirting to a captive audience’,” reported The Guardian.  Also, Black passengers in Seattle have higher waiting times–up to 35 percent longer–and drivers in Boston cancelled rides for Black passengers more than twice than they did for other non-Black passengers. The study also discovered that Uber and Lyft drivers committed “a pattern of discrimination” against passengers with African American-sounding names.

Uber said it was concerned about the findings. “Discrimination has no place in society, and no place on Uber,” Head of North American operations, Rachel Holt, said in a statement. “We believe Uber is helping reduce transportation inequities across the board, but studies like this one are helpful in thinking about how we can do even more.”

Lyft spokesman Adrian Durbin said in a statement: “We are extremely proud of the positive impact Lyft has on communities of color. Because of Lyft, people living in underserved areas–which taxis have historically neglected–are now able to access convenient, affordable rides. “We provide this service while maintaining an inclusive and welcoming community and do not tolerate any form of discrimination.”

Have you ever been discriminated against using Uber or Lyft?

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