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Uber Removes Destination Filter in NYC, Lower Rates in Chicago

Uber Removes Destination Filter in NYC, Lower Rates in Chicago

Uber is always changing their services to better meet market demands. Most recently, Uber has drastically changed the pay rates for drivers in their biggest markets. They have reduced per-mile rates and drastically increased per-minute rates to better address trips with a lot of traffic. The downside of this change is that long distance rides are much less profitable. Even with the original rates, long distance rides were borderline profitable to begin with considering driving back to the city center without a passenger. Now, it is clearly unprofitable to accept long distance rides without traffic.

Uber Destination Filter

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. However, there were times when I only got one 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. You can use one to go into the city and one back home, for example. Many drivers use the destination filter to go to the airport or the nearest city and then home after their shift. Lyft also had a destination filter, so if you drove for both, you had essentially 4 destination filters a day. Lyft’s destination filter never worked as well as Uber’s. However, Lyft’s destination filter has gotten a lot better since its inception two years ago.

Uber’s Removes Destination Filter in NYC

An email sent to all NYC drivers two days ago announcing that they are removing destination filters in New York City today. I believe that this is a large change to Uber in New York City. The region is so large that you almost need to have a destination filter in order to get home most of the time, unless you live in a popular spot in Manhattan or Queens. Destination filter was probably “abused” more often in New York City than in other regions. However, two destination filters a day doesn’t leave a lot of room for abuse.

This is the email sent to Uber drivers in New York City:

Lower Destination Filter Rates in Chicago

In addition to the announcement in New York City, drivers in Chicago also got a separate email about destination filters. In the email, they outlined that “rates will be reduced on Destination trips”. Uber does not mention what the rate is for destination trips. However, Uber drivers in Chicago found out in the Uber driver app that the rate would be 30% lower for destination trips. Chicago is a large city and I believe destination filter is crucial for Chicago drivers unless they live within the city limits.

This is the email sent to Uber drivers in Chicago:

Future of Uber Destination Filter

I don’t believe that Uber will be removing destination filter altogether in any more cities. These two changes to the destination filter were to analyze driver patterns as a result of changes to the destination filters. I expect that Uber will be lowering rates on all destination trips because it is fairly effective when it works. Destination filters can increase Uber driver income when used properly during the day. However, Uber drivers having just two destination filters limits the likelihood of major increases in daily income.

If the destination filter worked better, I would be interested in using it with a 20% discount. However, a 30% reduction of rates is too low for me to even consider it. I would rather drive back without a passenger than deal with the extra hassles of a destination filter. Sometimes you may get a ride that brings you further away from your final destination for a minimum fare trip. This ends up costing me more in terms of gas, depreciation, and time away from my destination.

Hopefully Uber will keep the destination filter the way it is. However, as Uber tries to increase profitability, they will experiment with every feature of the Uber driver app in order to reduce driver earnings and increase revenue.

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