Uber shows drivers destination information in advance to reduce cancellations, but there’s a catch

Uber in India has started showing destinations to drivers so they can decide whether to accept the ride. The new move aims to address drivers’ concerns about driver cancellations after they know their destination. The taxi aggregator has also launched remote pickup revenue, allowing drivers to accept ride requests even when the driver isn’t nearby. Additionally, Uber has promised to pay drivers every day — Monday through Thursday. However, driver associations are not yet pleased with the new announcements.

To address concerns about driver cancellations after the destination is known, Uber has announced that it has started showing destinations to drivers so they can make an informed choice. The feature is already live in 20 cities and plans to expand to all remaining cities in the future. However, there is a catch. It’s not live for all drivers.

Uber said the pre-goal feature will be available for drivers who “reach a predefined driver acceptance threshold.”

Shaik Salauddin, founding President (Telangana) of the Telangana Gig and Platform Workers Union (TGPWU) and national secretary-general of the Indian Federation of App Based Transport Workers (IFAT), said the feature only becomes active when a driver completes five trips.

“The requirement for completing trips to access information about the upcoming trip should be removed,” he said in a press statement responding to Uber’s updates.

The union leader also mentioned that if drivers did not accept the incoming ride, their ratings would be negatively impacted.

“That drivers have to drive in a row to accept them even before the current drive ends has created a nightmare situation for the drivers,” said Salauddin.

Uber mentioned in its announcement that it will continue to monitor driver and rider feedback and iterate on the threshold over the coming weeks.

In addition to providing up-front destination information, Uber said it introduced additional revenue for drivers in case they have to travel a long distance to pick up passengers.

“Drivers can see earnings for long pickups, which are shown separately on the ticket,” the company said.

The feature essentially aims to help drivers get taxis even when demand is high and taxi availability is low in a given area.

Salauddin said that despite a public announcement, drivers are not yet being paid for their “dry runs” – either to pick up the driver or if they are stuck outside of town after their driver’s completion. He added that the payments for the long journeys have not yet been cleared by the company.

In addition to being eligible for remote payments, Uber said it has started showing drivers how to pay — whether cash or online — before starting their journey. This, in turn, would help drivers receive a lower number of cancellations, as sometimes drivers will cancel trips when it’s not a cash trip.

Cash-only rides are convenient for most drivers, as aggregators like Uber and Ola take time to credit their payments. Uber claims to solve this problem – in addition to displaying the payment method – by introducing a daily payment process for drivers.

“This will ensure that Monday through Thursday ride earnings are credited to drivers the next day, while Friday through Sunday earnings are credited on Monday,” the company said.

Uber also pointed out that repeated complaints from riders about key aspects of service quality, including cancellations and ensuring AC rides are guaranteed, could result in penalties and even limited app access for drivers. However, the company also said it will remain committed to listening to drivers and drivers and delivering the “magical Uber experience again.”

Countering Uber’s announcement, Salauddin said that since the company claimed to be returning a magical experience to its rides, it should at least have done the same for its drivers.

“Drivers’ demands are fares relative to fuel prices in their city, access to information about the journey without the mandatory regulations, compensation for dry runs and rollback on consecutive journeys that are continuously dumped on them. ” he said.

Uber recently increased fares by 12 percent in certain cities, including Delhi-NCR, claiming to help lessen the impact of fuel price hikes on drivers. However, drivers are not yet convinced of the move.

Salauddin said the increase should not be a percentage but should be equal to the increase in fuel prices to the value of the rupee.

In March, Uber launched a Driver Advisory Council (DAC) to gather feedback from drivers on its platform. However, this advice is described as a “trick well practiced” by existing riders’ associations, including TGPWU and IFAT.

Salauddin claimed the decisions made in consultation with the DAC were “a sham”.

“If there is already a strong driver organization with three years of public history doing immense work, why would a company create an alternative institution unless it is with malicious intent?” he asked.

Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our Ethics Statement for details. Uber shows drivers destination information in advance to reduce cancellations, but there’s a catch

Ryan Sederquist

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