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The Reasons Why

We've been hosting partner feedback sessions in the New Orleans' office and almost all the questions in the sessions start with 'Why...' We've compiled some of the most common questions our partners have had. Here are the answers.

The Reasons Why

Why aren't rider destinations shown before picking up the rider? Why aren't pictures of riders shown in the app?

Each ride - no matter the requester, distance or destination - is important and we want to make sure each request is treated equally. Certain destinations - like the airport - shouldn't be prioritized over others because in the long run that impacts demand for Uber. We want to make sure that no one is discriminated against for any reason - not because of where they are going or because of what they look like, which is why we don't include rider photos in the partner app.

Why do vehicles in Orleans Parish need to be 8 model years or newer?

As New Orleans was preparing for the 2013 Super Bowl, the city council required taxis to update their vehicles to be seven model years or newer. When they passed the local regulation overseeing Uber, they held us to the same model year requirement. In the fall of 2015, the city council moved the allowable vehicle age limit to eight years for taxis and did the same for Uber a month later.

Why does the rider app not display the color of my car?

Great question with no good answer aside from it's been a long time since we redesigned the rider app. This is something we know partners want and the local New Orleans team is working on a temporary fix.

Why are the rates below taxi's rates?

Lots of people say we already provide a more reliable and more affordable option than taxi. And you're right, you do. But we are no longer competing just against taxi. We are competing against every time someone decides to get behind the wheel of their own vehicle. Uber needs to be affordable so people start taking it not just on nights and weekends, but when they are commuting or visiting friends/family or going to the hospital because parking is difficult. All of those times when Uber when could be used where calling a taxi would never cross people’s mind. We know we can be so much more than just the need that taxis fill - exploring the city for visitors in a deeper and better way or making sure that locals know they have safe and reliable transport whenever they need it. If we just provided rides when people would take taxis, the demand for Uber would never grow.

Why do you allow riders to request on Bourbon St.?

We restricted Bourbon St. requests for a month and we expected people to open the app and make their way off of Bourbon St. to request. When we looked at the data, what actually happened was that people opened their app, saw they couldn't request and never ended up requesting at all. So even though the pickups are a little more difficult, we felt it was better to allow those trip requests since the restriction was hurting your ability to earn. A trip completed with a little pickup delay is better than no trip at all.

Why don't you cap the number of driver-partners?

Ridership with Uber is always growing, so we need a constantly growing partner base. More partners also means lower ETAs for riders, which helps build demand because Uber is reliable. More demand means more trips per hour, which means higher earnings per hour. It's a virtuous cycle.

Partners also move to new cities, start new jobs and have life changes that may impact the amount of time they can spend partnering with Uber, so we need to replace those partners.

Since you decide when and where you want to drive, we have no idea of knowing how many people will be out at any given time. We want the supply to be able to grow with demand and offer flexible earning opportunities for as many people as possible.

Why can't partners see the rating each individual rider gives them?

This is simply a privacy issue for riders and partners. We want honesty and accountability on both sides, which requires anonymity. Remember that any rider who you rate a 1-star won't ever be paired with you again.

Why do I get sent trip requests from across the river while driving along Tchoup?

Right now, trip requests go to the nearest currently available Uber partner - as the crow flies. That means that sometimes the nearest partner is actually a long ways away given traffic, one-way streets or the Mississippi River. We've lowered the limit of distance and time for a partner to receive a trip request, meaning cross river dispatches shouldn't happen any longer.

We're working on a system where partners will receive trip requests based on quickest arrival time as opposed to closest partner by distance. This will greatly improve your efficiency in areas with lots of one-way streets like the CBD and French Quarter.

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