Who will take you to and from the festival if Uber won’t?

Over the past decade, Uber has become an integral part of our lives. It has provided a safe and economical way to get from point A to B, whether that be work, a friend’s, a party, or the park. Having the ability to open an app and call a designated driver after a few too many has directly influenced the declining number of DUI arrests and accidents in cities worldwide.

Designated Drivers

Concert, show, and festivalgoers heavily rely on Uber drivers to drop off and pick them up from venues, seeing as that these events are seldom attended soberly. No one wants to volunteer to be DD. It’s common that these events are in held obscure locations, difficult to get to by transit, or end too late to catch the last subway home. And although post-show surge rates may be ridiculous or you have to wait forever for your driver to find the unmarked location of the rave, chances are you’ve gotten home safely.

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It’s no secret that multiple, shorter rides are more lucrative for an Uber driver. While a lengthy jaunt to a far away destination may pack a pretty penny for the driver, the app doesn’t account for the time, gas, or energy it will cost him to return to his starting location. I’d be surprised to hear of anyone who hasn’t received an eye roll from their driver when it’s revealed that they are taking a one-hour drive outside the city to a remote party in the wee hours of the morning.

So why do drivers accept trips they don’t want to take? They’ve had no choice. If a driver accepted a ride, they were privy to an estimated time of journey; however, the actual destination was not provided. Until now.

Destination (Un)Known

Uber UK has rolled out a new feature allowing drivers to see the beginning of the destination’s postal code before accepting the trip. This way, drivers can decide before accepting the ride whether or not they’d prefer to travel there. Great news for drivers, but how will this affect us, the passengers? If your destination is a well-known festival and the driver is likely picking up a carful of hyped-up, glitter-bombed partiers, they may just prefer to not. Perhaps, you’ve just attended a life-altering show and it’s now time to embark on that hour and a half journey back to the suburbs, it may be difficult to find a driver willing to make the trip. Londoners headed to British Summer Time festival this weekend may want to plan ahead and arrange for a transportation plan B in the case Uber drivers boycott the area.

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However, it’s not just the Brits that need to worry. Across the US, many Uber users have tweeted their frustrations that their Uber drivers had arrived at their destination before even picking them up. Is this glitch a bug developers have encountered while taking a stab at the new destination-revealing feature? In Canada, where fare-based discrimination is still against community guidelines, drivers are asking point blank where you are headed specifically and getting familiar with some app hacks that allow drivers to see where their passengers are headed before they pick them up.

Moving Forward?

So, yes, Uber is protecting its workers, giving them more autonomy over the trips they accept and who they decide to pick up. However, as this feature rolls out worldwide, I’m sure we’ll hear the plentiful cries of stranded and unhappy Uber users. Until it hits your city, do the community a favor and be extra kind to your drivers. Just remember, it may be sooner than later that your Uber driver may avoid festivals and electro shows altogether. I think we can all agree that a little eye roll over a long journey is much better than a canceled trip.

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