Posted on June 28, 2018

Blacks Face Longer Wait Times on Uber, Lyft Than Other Races — Worse for Taxis, Study Says

Marco della Cava, USA Today, June 28, 2018

African-Americans waiting on taxis in Los Angeles are likely to face longer wait times and have a greater chance of being canceled on than whites, Asians and Hispanics, according to a new study out Wednesday from UCLA.

They also faced longer wait times and more cancellations with Lyft and Uber, though far less so than with taxis, according to “Ridehail Revolution: Ridehail Travel and Equity in Los Angeles,” a doctoral dissertation by Anne Brown of UCLA’s Institute for Transportation Studies.

Taxi drivers in L.A. were 73 percent more likely to cancel on black riders than whites, and one-quarter of blacks were never sent a cab, according to the research, which had 18 UCLA students of different ethnicities hail 1,704 trips between October and December 2017. Black riders also waited 52 percent longer than whites for taxis.


In 7 percent of the trips taken by the students, Lyft drivers cancelled on black riders, compared with 5 percent of Asians/Hispanics and 3 percent of whites. Uber drivers (who see only a name once the trip is accepted) canceled on black riders 6 percent of the time, Asians/Hispanics 3 percent and whites 2 percent.

In contrast, taxis canceled rides on blacks 26 percent of the time, Asians/Hispanics 20 percent and whites 14 percent.


Two years ago, a study showed riders with African-American sounding names had their UberX trips canceled at twice the rate of those with white-sounding names.


Brown’s study shows that black riders waited about a minute longer for Uber and Lyft than other races. The gap was wider for taxis, which had a mean total wait time of 30 minutes for blacks, 24 minutes for Asians/Hispanics and 20 minutes for whites.

In 1 in 4 instances, when her black students requested a taxi one never arrived. She also said that a few times black male students were asked to pay cash up front for their taxi rides.