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Get your walking shoes on. Uber kicks low-rated riders to the curb

Hey, Uber riders, have you checked your rating recently?

Up till now, a low-rated Uber passenger has been able to continue taking rides, while a poorly rated driver can end up losing their job.

But that’s about to change.

Uber said this week it’s bringing in a new system that could see riders with a below-average rating banned from the service.

“Respect is a two-way street, and so is accountability,” Kate Parker, Uber’s head of safety brands and initiatives, said in a message announcing the update, adding: “Drivers have long been expected to meet a minimum rating threshold which can vary city to city. While we expect only a small number of riders to ultimately be impacted by ratings-based deactivations, it’s the right thing to do.”

While it’s true that Uber drivers can check a rider’s rating before deciding whether to accept the request, it’s nevertheless a safe bet the new rule will be warmly welcomed by those getting behind the wheel of an Uber car each day.

So what kind of passengers are likely to pick up poor ratings? It’s obvious stuff, really. Rude and badly behaved folks will be well on their way to receiving a one-star rating, as will drunk or not-so-drunk folks who use the contents of their stomach to decorate an Uber car’s interior.

Parker said riders will receive helpful tips, in the form of in-app messages, offering ideas on how to improve their ratings. These include — would you believe — acting in a polite and friendly manner, holding onto your trash till you get home, and refraining from asking your driver to break the speed limit. Riders will have a number of opportunities to improve their rating prior to losing access to Uber’s app, Parker noted.

The education campaign will also involve asking both riders and drivers to take a look at a summary of Uber’s community guidelines and to confirm that they understand what’s asked of them when using the ridesharing service.

The company has recently been tweaking its service to try to improve the in-car atmosphere so that everyone inside can get from A to B without their heartbeat rising to a dangerous level. It includes, for Uber’s premium Black service, a “silent mode” option where riders can request via the app that the driver disengages their voice box and stays quiet for the duration of the trip.

And for those not in the know, here’s how you can check your rating.

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Trevor Mogg
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