Friday, November 26, 2021

Lyft Launches Measure to Track Racist Tendencies in its Drivers

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*Following the recent two-year study from the National Bureau of Economic Research that showed Uber and Lyft riders with “black-sounding” names waited longer to have trip requests approved than riders with “white-sounding” names, Lyft has announced a new internal method of addressing the problem: a hidden score measuring driver discrimination.

In November, Sen. Al Franken wrote an open letter to Lyft’s CEO, Logan Green, and Uber’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, asking them to address racism on their platforms. In its response revealed Wednesday, Lyft said it will start tracking driver cancellation and quality of service for drivers in poor, minority communities.

Via the letter:

Also, moving forward we will enhance our regular thorough review of ride cancellations (as noted above), by including a focus on cancellation rates and quality of service in “minority census tracts” as defined in 12 USCS § 4502 (a census tract that has a minority population of at least 30 percent and a median income of less than 100 percent of the area median income).

Lyft already had a system in place to track driver behavior, but now the company will monitor and analyze driver behavior in poor and minority areas specifically as well as looking at drivers’ cancellation rates and their ratings there, using real-time tracking to screen for discrimination.

Lyft says that it sends alerts for each trip cancellation, and discriminatory practices will result in “immediate termination.”

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