There’s a lot to be unsure about when it comes to ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft. Uber’s been eyed for questionable labor practices and some shady schemes to steal riders from Lyft. This is not to menton the outcry from traditional taxi companies who fear losing customers to the companies. But as BuzzFeed’s Johana Bhuylan reports, Lyft and Uber are benefiting from the frustrated black customers who’ve been discriminated against by yellow cabs for years. Here’s more:
Though it’s hard for organizations to quantify this type of racial discrimination, historically, taxi drivers in many cities have refused to drive to certain destinations. In a 2011 undercover operation, the Taxi and Limousine Commission found that out of 1,330 cabs more than 336 refused to travel to places like the Bronx and northern Manhattan.
Many people of color like Lauren are turning to app-based car services like Uber, Lyft and Gett for relief from either discrimination or destination biases – a point that the companies have become quick to tout. For the ride sharing companies, what was initially an unintended byproduct of the app – or a happy accident of sorts – is quickly being marketed as a feature.
What’s more, according to BuzzFeed, is that companies are now marketing it as a feature:
Uber, for example, performed a neighborhood study in Chicago this year that determined “4 in 10 rides in Chicago start or end in underserved neighborhoods.” In New York, Uber has very publicly claimed that its drivers make more outer borough trips than taxis, though it did not provide any data to substantiate it and did not respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for data. And In Boston, Uber dug into its own data to address destination bias and found that neighborhoods where 35 percent of residents complained of a 20-minute wait for cabs were being served within 20 minutes – 30 days before the data was published the average wait time was 3.5 minutes, according to the blog post.