We all know that Uber drivers can’t see the passenger’s destination before they accept a trip, but do you know why? I get a lot of questions about this from new drivers who are just getting started. They see a request come in and they don’t know where the request is going, and it can be frustrating, especially if you’re looking to log off a shift.
Check out my video to see the answer, then read the transcript of the video below.
What the Uber app does show you
You can’t see the destination before riders accept the trip, and we actually have a good video on how the Uber driver app works. When a request comes in, all you can see is the type of request: So UberX, UberPOOL, UberSELECT, or whatever it might be. You will also see the surge level, if there is surge going on, and then you can see where the pickup location is, and you can see the passenger’s rating.
In the screenshot I took of the acceptance screen in the video, you can see how far away the passenger is, and then the address. This is Temple Avenue, Long Beach, California, 90803, and then you can also see the rating and the type of ride, 4.91 UberX.
So that’s basically what you guys can see on the acceptance screen if you guys have never screenshot it, or if you’re wondering what it might be. Now there’s some variation in places like Chicago, for example. You can’t see the passenger rating, but for the most part, that’s what the acceptance screen looks like. And obviously the big thing that’s missing is where the passenger is going.
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Why don’t they show you passenger destination?
Why doesn’t Uber show the passenger’s destination? I think for a lot of drivers who have been doing this for a while the answer might be sort of obvious, but it’s not necessarily one that I agree with.
If Uber showed the passenger destination to drivers, you would have a lot of drivers who would filter out the shortest requests. You would have a lot of drivers who would only do certain rides headed to certain areas, who might avoid certain areas, which could cause problems for Uber and drivers too if you’re ignoring passengers going to certain parts of town. I think the biggest potential issue is that a lot of drivers would filter out the shorter requests. As drivers, we all want those long, profitable rides, and short rides kind of suck because you don’t make that much money.
Drivers cherry pick because the minimum fare is too low!
This is something the taxis are actually notorious for: cherry-picking rides. So I really understand why Uber does it. But at the same time, I think, the minimum fare payout is just too low. Sometimes you have to look at the root cause of why drivers are doing this, why are they doing cherry-picking. It’s because they don’t make very much money on a minimum fare. So I think the minimum fare payout is just way too low.
In LA, for example, the minimum fare is $5.15. Uber takes their $1.65 booking fee, 25% commission of the remaining $3.50, and let’s see if I can get my math right here. That’s like two and a half dollars or just over two and a half dollars that the driver gets, which is almost a 50% commission on a minimum fare ride. Drivers don’t make any money on minimum fare rides, and that’s why they don’t want them.
Tricks to see where the passenger is heading
I think the easy solution would be to raise the minimum fare for Uber just to make the actual payout $4 or $5. But I’m not sure that it’ll be happening anytime soon. There’s really no way to know where your passenger is headed. But in the past, there have been a couple of hacks, some that I think were okay, some that I think weren’t.
The first one that kind of comes to mind is the Waybill hack. This was a hack, and it no longer works. Uber closed this loophole a while back. And basically once you accepted the request, if the passenger had entered the destination and you went and after you accepted that request, let’s say, the passenger entered their destination, you could go to the Waybill, which shows your insurance information and all that good stuff, and Uber was actually putting the destination in the Waybill.
You also have some drivers who text or call the riders to see where they are going. This isn’t personally something that I do. I think it’s a little bit too far. I think it’s too obtrusive.
The last thing that I want to talk about is the destination feature, which is sort of solving that problem. This is something Uber is testing in a lot of cities, and it may now be in all cities. The destination feature allows you to set a destination. So, let’s say you get a ride from LA all the way to San Diego. Normally you’d have to dead head all those miles back. But now you’ll be able to set your destination as LA and then you’ll only get rides headed in the direction back towards LA. Hopefully, you’ll get a ride to LA.
Lyft now allows you to see the passenger’s destination when you arrive
Lyft updated their app so that as soon as you arrive at your Lyft passenger’s pickup location and tap that you’ve arrived you’re able to actually zoom out and see where your passenger’s destination is. You still have to show up to the passenger to see the destination, but now you can cancel more strategically.
Uber Pro and Lyft Driver Enhancements show ride duration and direction
Both Uber and Lyft are beginning to test and roll out features that allow drivers to see passenger destination, but in a limited way. Uber Pro, Uber’s tiered rewards system for drivers, contains a feature that will allow drivers to see the duration and direction of a trip. Drivers who are Gold tier or higher will get long trip notifications, and Platfinum or higher drivers will see the direction and duration of a trip.
Lyft, as a part of their Lyft Driver Enhancements program, will also show the duration and direction of a ride for drivers who maintain a high acceptance rate.
But even with Uber Pro and Lyft Driver Enhancements, you still won’t be able to see exactly where the passenger is heading before you arrive.
Hopefully you guys now understand a little bit about why you can’t see the passenger destination before you accept a request. Thank you for watching the video. Like, comment, subscribe, feel free to ask me any questions you might have, and I’ll definitely get back to you. Take care!
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