“Uber Everywhere” may sound good bumping through your earbuds, but a recent study shows that the ride-sharing service may not be the best reality for two major demographics.

The National Bureau of Economic Research just released the findings of a controlled study tracking just how often discrimination occurred in ride services like Lyft, Flywheel and Uber. Researchers included data from 1,500 riders in Boston and Seattle. Within two years, the study proved that women and African-Americans were not receiving the same five-star service as their counterparts.

According to the study, black riders experienced longer wait times. Researchers also noticed that when the passengers had “African-American sounding names,” the cancellation rate was twice as high and three times as high in “low density areas” in comparison to their white equivalents (11.2% to 4.5%; 15.7% in low density). Racial ambiguity seemed to also affect the findings.

As for the women, researchers noted that they were more likely to be overcharged for their ride and may also experience more talkative and possibly flirtatious drivers. Those trips would usually be about 5% longer with drivers opting to take scenic routes and repeatedly miss directions for their padding of their pockets.

Some aspects of the study weren’t as surprising: surge pricing trips lasting longer, pre-planned routes for the driver’s convenience, etc.

Uber has come forward in response to the findings.

In a statement to Bloomberg, Rachel Holt, Uber’s head of North American operations said, “Discrimination has no place in society and no place on Uber. We believe Uber is helping reduce transportation inequities across the board, but studies like this one are helpful in thinking about how we can do even more.”

This information comes in the height of the “Traveling While Black” controversies. With companies like Airbnb cracking down on their non-discrimination policies, Uber could learn a thing or two. The old narrative of minorities and quality service seems to still reign true. No matter how much technology evolves, people of color are still subject to the rejection that comes with the thumb out hailing of a cab in the city.


Click here to read the full study.

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