Uber, the tech-based taxi service, has always expected their drivers to be courteous towards its riders. Drivers can be penalised for not abiding by these rules. Passengers are able to give drivers feedback and ratings out of 5 stars. The same has been true of drivers being able to rate passengers. Now, riders in the U.S. and Canada can potentially have their accounts deactivated if their rating falls significantly below a city’s average.

“Respect is a two-way street, and so is accountability,” Uber Head of Safety Brand and Initiatives Kate Parker wrote in a blog post. “Drivers have long been required to meet a minimum rating threshold which can vary city to city. While we expect only a small number of riders to ultimately be impacted by ratings-based deactivations, it’s the right thing to do.”

Uber riders risk account deactivation

According to a leaked document from 2015, Uber drivers face a risk of deactivation if their rating falls below 4.6. But, this can be city specific. The actual “deactivation” rating figure for riders is unknown at present. Uber does say “any rider at risk of losing access will receive several notifications and opportunities to improve his or her rating,” There will be tips on offer to riders that will encourage them to improve their rating/behaviour and avoid ultimately being banned. Uber expects these measures to only affect a small group of its riders.

Uber riders will have access to these community guidelines that will pop up on the Uber App and will require acknowledgement before the app can be used.

“Holding riders accountable for their behaviour on the Uber platform is an important safety measure to protect drivers as well as fellow riders who may book shared rides,” Moira Muntz, spokesperson for the Independent Drivers Guild, said in a statement. “While most riders are respectful, banning riders who threaten driver safety, spew racist rants, and disrespect or damage our vehicles is the right thing to do. For too long there has been one-sided accountability and this is a positive step toward correcting that.”

There is no news at the moment when these new measures will be rolled-out globally.

What is Uber?

Uber is a taxi service that is based on the latest computer and GPS mobile technology. It is fairly convenient for riders and can be inexpensive compared to a normal taxi service. The Riders use their smartphone app to request a ride. They can see the approximate price of the fare, location of Uber drivers, and the expected time the journey to take. Once the Uber rider arrives at their destination they pay for the ride via their smartphone. For passenger safety, drivers must meet requirements for age, health, car age and type, have a driver’s license and a smartphone or tablet, and must pass a background check.