Everyone knows I live and die on public transportation. I’m the face of the orange line at this point. If you were to get into any orange line train car, at any given time of the day, chances are I’m sitting there writing school shooter jokes into my phone notes. The only issue is, as someone who thrives under the cover of darkness, I tend of operate deep into the night. The same cannot be said for the MBTA system, since it shuts down at midnight. Because of that, I find myself taking Ubers quite frequently.
I read an article today that talked about Uber rankings, and what number qualifies as a satisfactory score. I have a 4.6. I always thought that was a solid score. 92%. That’s higher than I’ll get on any of my midterms. That all changed after reading this article, and here’s the excerpt that really got me:
Uber wouldn’t provide information about average ratings, but driver Harry Campbell, 29, says that most riders are a 4.8 — and anything below a 4.6 signals a problematic passenger. For comparison, Campbell, who’s worked for Uber for 2 ¹/₂ years, says that drivers who rate below a 4.5 after 50 rides are dismissed or suspended.
So apparently I’m right on the edge of being “problematic”, and I love it. Like, I want you to be a little scared when you pick me up. Not terrified, as if I’m a rapist or something, but I want your steering wheel to get a little sweaty when I’m in your backseat.
The thing about picking me up in an Uber, is that you never know what version of me you’re going to get. I’m a huge wildcard when it comes to that. Is it 9am, and is the destination the library? Then congrats, today is your lucky day. I’ll probably have my head in my phone the entire ride, and worst case scenario I mumble a couple things to myself. Is it 2am, and you’re picking me up outside Howl? Then strap in, we’re about to have ourselves an adventure. Hope you like listening to me call every single girl in my contacts on speaker phone, only to have every single one go to voicemail. Shooters shoot. Also please move up the front seat, my dancer legs can’t fit in the back of your Camry.
By now, you should know that I never present a problem without a solution, and this is no exception. I have the answer for Uber on how to fix this low rating. I actually have several. Let’s explore:
Uber needs an “Uber Blackout” feature
Sort of spinoff from Uber Black Car, when you call Uber Blackout, they send you a special type of vehicle to take you home, that will be tailored to taking care of someone who is considered “blacked out”. What type of vehicle will it be? Depends on the driver. Sometimes it will be a pick-up truck with a mattress in the back. Maybe Uhaul to fit in the eight people you just met, that you’re bringing to postgame at your apartment. Yea, no longer will you have to try to sneakily fit 30 people into a Honda Civic, and convince the driver you’re just going down the street, when it clearly says on the driver’s phone that it’s a 30 minute drive. Sometimes you’ll just get picked up in an ambulance or a paddy wagon. The options are truly endless.
Uber should offer a breathalyzer feature
I know breathalyzers traditionally are only for narcs, but hear me out with this situation: I get an in Uber, and immediately blow into the breathalyzer. If I blow below a .08, the driver doesn’t talk to me, and leaves me alone to sit on my phone and refresh Twitter. If I blow above a .08, then the driver and I begin a heated discussion on a controversial topic, and if there’s time, I talk at him for 20 minutes about my hopes and dreams, and me and him come up with 5 year plans for each other.
A feature where I can get the driver’s contact info after the ride
I guess this could be useful for when people leave items in the Uber, but that’s not where my inspiration for this idea came from. This come from taking too many Ubers where I absolutely hit it off with the driver and we immediately become best friends, only to arrive at my destination and never see him/her again. I don’t know how many times I’ve been sitting in my room, bored out of my mind, because no one is around to hang out, and thought, “Oh I wonder what my Uber driver Abdul is up to tonight?” I know Abdul comes off stereotypical for an Uber driver name, but I looked back at my ride history, and 60% of my drivers were named Abdul. Sometimes you’re right. The universe always works out.
If I don’t remember it, I don’t pay for it
I might be alone here, but how many times have you woken up in bed, fully clothed, without any clue how you got home last night, only to look at your phone to realize you took an Uber? That might not come off as a big deal, but the Ubers that I don’t remember are never quick $5 rides. I usually look back at my ride history, and realize I took like six different Ubers to six different places, because I kept typing in the wrong address. Those add up. So I think Uber should implement a rule, that if you don’t remember it, you don’t pay for it. How would that work? That’s where the breathalyzer comes in again. Here, you have the breathalyzer on the app on your phone. Once you wake up and realize what happened, you blow in, and send your morning after BAC to Uber headquarters. Then Uber will be like “Oh shit, it’s 10am and this kid’s BAC is still at .3, we should probably let him off the hook for last night, he already has enough apology texts to send.” That’s how you run a socially conscious business, if you ask me.
So hopefully these tips will help Uber create a better experience for both rider and drives, and also help raise my Uber rating to that of a normally functional human being.
PS: Fuck Lyft.