RSG049: Dr. Stephen Zoepf on Rideshare Drivers and Discrimination


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Discrimination amongst transportation providers has all the time been a robust drawback to unravel.  Many thought that the emergence of rideshare providers like Uber and Lyft would remedy a few of these points however a brand new research has introduced to mild that a number of the similar discriminatory practices taxi drivers have been accused of through the years are additionally occurring on rideshare providers.

I do know many drivers have all the time felt that the scores system might be racially biased and though this research focuses extra on passenger discrimination, future research might probably present the identical factor on the driving force’s aspect of the equation.

If you’d wish to learn a transcript of this podcast, please click here.

In this episode, we interview Dr. Stephen Zoepf, who recently conducted a study on passenger discrimination on Uber. The takeaways from his study here!


  • Today we’ll be speaking with Dr. Stephen Zoepf about his study on rideshare drivers and passenger discrimination
  • We’re fairly conversant in sometimes getting cancellations as drivers and passengers, however Dr. Zoepf’s research goes into extra depth about why and how this occurs
  • Stay tuned to the top, the place we talk about what may be finished to repair discrimination
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An Interview With Dr. Stephen Zoepf

  • Dr. Stephen Zoepf, Executive Director of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford
  • Focused on learning the way forward for human-centered mobility

Study: Discrimination Persists in Peer Transportation Systems

  • Study befell in Seattle and Boston
  • In some instances, passengers both black or white, male or feminine. In Boston, the research employed college students who look would permit them to journey as both race
  • People who have been black had longer wait occasions and have been cancelled on extra
  • Quirk that Uber doesn’t present individuals’s names or footage till after a journey is accepted, whereas Lyft exhibits drivers names and footage instantly. This means Lyft drivers can decline a journey, whereas Uber drives even have to simply accept and then cancel
  • For that purpose, can’t draw definitive conclusions for Lyft
  • Were hoping to seek out no proof of racial discrimination, however sadly that’s not what occurred

Takeaways from Study

  • Uber, Lyft, and Flywheel not discriminatory corporations
  • They are platforms for the reflection of society – unconscious
  • Drivers not evil both, however some are making dangerous selections
  • Goal for TNCs ought to be to develop insurance policies that attempt to encourage their drivers to behave in a means that doesn’t encourage or allow discrimination
  • Also as much as native, state, nationwide degree to create insurance policies that tackle one of these discrimination

Response to Study

  • Has not heard from Uber concerning the research outcomes, however open to working with them sooner or later
  • In the media, mentions of how forms of discrimination are being addressed, however nothing substantive
  • Did not analysis passenger vs. driver discrimination, nevertheless it’s one thing to think about sooner or later

Future Projects

  • Will proceed to review rideshare and rideshare corporations
  • Searching for solutions to questions on how new transportation modes have an effect on society


  • While we’d not like to listen to concerning the outcomes of this research, it’s one thing we as drivers have to remember: our unconscious biases
  • Maybe regulators do have to have extra of a say – what do you assume?
  • Want to study extra about Dr. Zoepf’s analysis? Check out
  • The research carried out in Seattle and Boston can be found here
  • Follow Dr. Zoepf on Twitter here
  • Feel free to succeed in out to me at harry[at] or comply with me on Twitter @TheRideShareGuy
  • Leave feedback, questions and suggestions under!

If you’d wish to learn a transcript of this podcast, please click here.

Drivers, what do you consider the outcomes of this research and what may be achieved to repair potential discrimination points?

Make Every Mile Count

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-Harry @ RSG

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I am Harry, the proprietor and founding father of The Rideshare Guy Blog and Podcast. I was a full-time engineer however now I am a rideshare blogger! I write about my expertise driving for Uber, Lyft, and different providers and my objective is to assist drivers earn extra money by working smarter, not more durable.

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