Black Riders of Traditional Taxis Have Longer Wait Times, UCLA Study Says

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Discrimination in the traditional taxi industry results in higher cancellation rates and longer wait times for black riders, but Lyft and Uber have nearly eliminated the racial differences in service, according to a newly released UCLA study of ride-hailing services.

``Ridehail Revolution: Ridehail Travel and Equity in Los Angeles'' by Anne Brown, a doctoral transportation researcher at the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies, found that black customers of traditional cab services were 73 percent more likely to have a driver cancel on them compared to white riders. 

Also, the study found that due to taxi cancellations, one in four black riders never reach their destination. Black riders also wait 52 percent longer for their taxi to arrive, or between six and 15 minutes, than white riders of traditional cabs. 

By contrast, Lyft and Uber ``nearly eliminate the racial differences in service,'' the study showed. On both services, a black rider had about a 4 percent higher likelihood of being canceled than a white rider, Brown found. But nearly all Lyft and Uber riders reached their destination even if one driver canceled a trip, according to the UCLA study. 

Uber spokesman Andrew Hasbun issued a statement saying that his company has ``improved access to transportation in historically under-served communities and reduced the potential for discrimination."He said that ``while there's more work to do, we are committed to serving all communities around the world.''Representatives of Lyft did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

While unlawful discrimination from taxi drivers prevent many black riders from completing a trip, driver biases on Uber and Lyft result in delayed -- but not denied -- mobility, the study found.

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