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Uber Changes Destination Filter, Removes Uber Trip Preferences

Uber Destination Filter is for Uber drivers who want only ride requests towards the direction they want to go. For example, if you are north of the city and wanting to go home, you set the destination filter for your home address and you will only get ride requests that are on the way home. It may be about 1/2 mile out of the way, but you can make a few dollars going home, which isn’t bad. Most of the time, the destination filter has worked out well for me and a few times I only got a short ride in the middle of my long drive home. Either way, it is worth it to set it since the worst thing that can happen is that you don’t get a ride.

When Uber first released the Destination Filter, they allowed drivers to use 2 per calendar day, with the counter reset at 12am local time. You can use one to go into the city and one back home, for example. Lyft also had a destination filter, so if you drove for both, you had essentially 4 destination filters a day. In my experience, Lyft’s destination filter never worked as well as Uber’s. I think it is because Lyft has more drivers relative to trip requests than Uber, so there wasn’t as many requests to choose from on Lyft.

Uber Destination Filter Was at 6 per Day….

Part of the 180 days of change, Uber increased the number of destination filters up to 6. Lyft responded in kind last week by increasing to 6 per day. However, it seemed as if Uber had a change of heart about the destination filters. Below is a screenshot from a Seattle driver:

Here is the screenshot from Boston:

So it is official that the Uber Destination filter is back to 2 in Boston as of 9-28.

Uber Destination Filter Back to 2 Per Day

The decrease of Destination Filter is only in Seattle at the moment but it is slated to be removed nationwide on September 28th. I think there are specific geographic reasons why drivers may abuse destination filters in Seattle, but I can’t see why this would drastically affect the Uber passenger experience in Seattle. I don’t believe that adding another four destination filters would adversely affect Uber passenger experience anywhere in the country. However, Uber has added another feature that may be just as good as Destination Filter: Trip Preferences

Uber Trip Preferences vs Uber Destination Filters

As part of the 180 days of change. Uber added a feature called Uber Trip Preferences. Here is what it looks like in Boston:

You can see that an Uber driver can choose the destination of his/her trip requests. While it isn’t as specific as Destination Filters, it seems as if you can change these Uber Trip Preferences multiple times per day and may be just as good as Destination Filters. I haven’t had much time to use it, but for drivers who are using Destination Filters 6 times a day, I believe that Uber Trip Preferences may be an adequate replacement for those 6 destination filters.

The Uber Trip Preferences have some rather large zones which encompass much of the extended Boston area, which is about 60 square miles, not including Cape Cod (Cape and Islands). However, if a driver just chooses “Greater Boston,” they can stay within the city and not have to go too far outside the city.

Uber Trip Preferences Eliminated Too

In a sweeping change this week, Uber Trip Preferences were also eliminated as well. I haven’t had much time to use it to figure out what worked best, but they probably found that drivers were misusing this feature as well. I would believe most full time drivers would eliminate the outer regions to keep them within the city so that they can reduce the miles they drive. While long rides are often more lucrative, it does not always translate into higher earnings since you may drive 20 miles outside the city with a passenger, but have to drive 20 miles back into the city without a passenger, costing you time and money.

Below is the new screenshot of Uber Trip Preferences today:

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