Uber and Lyft haven’t fixed the ride-hailing discrimination problem, study finds

Image: APAP Photo/ Richard Vogel

Drivers for Uber Technologies Inc. in Boston canceled rides for men with black-sounding names more than twiceas often as for other men. Black peoplein Seattle using Uber and Lyft Inc.faced notably longer wait times to get paired with drivers than white clients. The findings come from a study publishedon Monday by researchersatthe Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and the University of Washington.

“In many ways, the sharing economy is constructing it up as they go along, ” told Christopher Knittel, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and an author of the study. “A lot of this is a learning process, and you can’t expect these companies to have everything perfect right out of the gate.”

A new generation of technology companies have begun to grapple with how they can minimizeracial discrimination. Airbnb Inc. recently released anextensive reportstudyingracial bias on the site and proposed somechanges to the current policy. The home-rental company committed to offering more training for its hosts and hiring a more diverse workforce. It sent e-mails to clients over the weekend saying they must agree not to discriminate in order to use the site starting next month. However, Airbnb has defied advocates’ calls toremove photos of guests and hosts from its platform.

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