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Study Confirms That Lyft and Uber Drivers Discriminate Against Blacks in Low Income Communities

Uber driver

Black people living in low-income communities are being discriminated against even when they try to get a ride, according to a new study that focused on ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft. That is despite the fact that they are its most frequent passengers.
A recent dissertation from UCLA's Institute for Transportation Studies that analyzed 6.3 million trip-level records obtained from Lyft confirmed that drivers from ride-hailing companies tend to discriminate against those who are low-income and Black, City Lab reported.

Back in 2016, a study of 1,500 trip records of Uber and Lyft in Seattle and Boston was also conducted. It was discovered that the drivers from the two ride-hailing companies do not pick up passengers if the names of the passengers are "Black-sounding".

The dissertation also stated that there are more Lyft drivers in wealthier Los Angeles neighborhoods even though more trips are made from passengers from low-income communities attributed to the higher percentage of them not owning a car.

Additionally, it was also found that Black customers had higher wait times and cancellation rates with Lyft and Uber. Even though traditional taxi services still take longer, Black customers wait over 2 minutes more than white customers. Lyft drivers cancelled on 7 percent of trips for Blacks, while only 3 percent for Whites; Uber drivers cancelled on 6 percent of Blacks, compared to 2 percent of Whites.

This disparity, however, can somehow be seen in a positive way as it could mean more opportunities for Black entrepreneurs. Godwin Gabriel, who came from Tanzania, founded Moovn, an on-demand transportation app that currently operates in 9 states in the U.S. and in other cities in the Middle East and Africa.

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