Study Finds Discriminatory Practices by Ride Sharing Drivers | NECN
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Study Finds Discriminatory Practices by Ride Sharing Drivers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A new study accuses Lyft and Uber drivers of being discriminatory by canceling on customers based on the sound of their names. (Published Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016)

    They give you a ride with the tap of an app, but a new study accuses Lyft and Uber drivers of being discriminatory by canceling on customers based on the sound of their names.

    According to the study, which was published by researchers at MIT, the University of Washington and Stanford University, if a person requesting a ride has an African-American sounding name, the driver would be twices as likely to cancel.

    The study focused on 1,500 rides in Seattle and Boston.

    "For a name like 'Jamal,' what we were finding was the driver will accept a request, see it came from Jamal and immediately cancel," MIT professor and study co-author Christopher Knittle said.

    A person with an African American-sounding name was twice as likely to be cancelled by an Uber driver and waiting longer for a Lyft driver, which is another ride sharing company that allows drivers to see customer profiles before they accept the fare.

    Both companies released similar statements saying they do not tolerate discrimination.

    "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," Uber's statement continued.

    The study also suggests solutions, including giving customers an ID number instead of using their names and more penalties for drivers should they cancel.

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