uber drivers toronto

Toronto Uber drivers have found a hack to see passenger destinations

Have you ever had an Uber driver preemptively cancel your ride for no good reason? Or had trouble getting someone to pick you up at all when you happened to be going only a small distance?

It looks like regular taxi drivers aren't alone in doing shady things to avoid short fares — they're just a bit more analog about it.

Rumours have been swirling for years that Uber drivers can see each passenger's final destination, allowing them to pick and choose who they serve and who they don't.

Fare-based discrimination, as the practice is called, is against the law in Toronto, and also against Uber's own community guidelines. And yet, reports of this very thing happening continue to proliferate.

uber cancellation toronto

A Toronto Uber user shared images of their recent conversation with an Uber driver who cancelled after asking for a destination. Image via r/Toronto.

"Uber is getting just as bad as taxis. He ended up cancelling," wrote one local rider while sharing screenshots of an in-app conversation on Reddit earlier this week.

The screenshots show an Uber driver messaging the passenger while they were still waiting to say "hey, it's telling me long trip, where are you going?"

Said driver cancelled after the rider said that they were going home.

An Uber spokesperson confirmed by email this week, however, that drivers are "unable to see a rider's destination until they pick-up the passenger and start the trip, which is aimed to eliminate pre-trip cancellation due to distance."

"Driver partners are required to maintain a low cancellation rate or otherwise risk losing access to the platform, as stated in our community guidelines," wrote the Uber spokesperson.

"These community guidelines also explicitly state that, in addition, it is not acceptable to discriminate on the basis of a rider's destination or a customer’s delivery location."

So, how did this driver know where his passenger was going? Was it a hunch? A shot in the dark? Or something else?

Some on Twitter say that they've had Uber drivers call them up to ask about a final destination before deciding whether or not to cancel, while others say the drivers are using third-party apps and clever phone hacks to figure it out for themselves.

Whatever the case, it's a shady and unfair practice.

But, what else is new?

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