Uber Allows Drivers to Pick Their Passengers

There’s a new feature available in the Uber Driver app that will allow the drivers to select which rider passenger ratings are acceptable.

According to Uber, they’re testing the feature in St. Louis and Columbus, Ohio among a small number of drivers. There’s no set date for additional roll out, but feature-tests like this in smaller cities are very common between both Uber and Lyft.

If the test is successful, we’ll start to see the feature roll out to more cities and eventually, potentially, nationwide.

The Importance of Passenger Ratings

In some ways, ratings are arbitrary and don’t necessarily reflect how the rider will be that day with you as their driver. However, they can be helpful.

Typically, drivers seem to think that anything lower than a 4.7 star rating means the passenger is likely to be rude, makes things difficult, or is known for slamming doors.

It could also mean the passenger made a mess in a previous vehicle, was a backseat driver, said they would tip in the app but didn’t, or any number of faux pas that tend to earn lower ratings from drivers.

Likewise, passengers can rate their drivers. Low ratings for a driver may indicate reckless behavior, a dirty vehicle, blaring music and more.

New Feature: Letting Drivers Pick the Best Passengers

This new feature (which is still only available in two markets) allows drivers to choose what rider rating they are willing to pick up.

Say you only want to pick up riders who have a 4.7 or higher rating. With this feature, you go into your app, click on the two lines on the bottom left corner of your Uber Driver app. This will open up your “Driver Preferences” tab where you will be able to set the rating.

This is also where you choose which services you’re willing to do such as UberX, UberXL, Connect, Comfort, Deliveries, etc.

Thank you to the Uber driver testing out this feature who shared this with us!


Several drivers already pick and choose their passengers based on the shown rating on the acceptance screen. This option will simply make it easier and safer for drivers who are already on the road to accept or decline offers.

If you have it toggled on, you shouldn’t be receiving requests lower than your chosen rating.

What Are Drivers Saying About This Potential New Feature?

On Reddit, some drivers indicated that a 5.0 rating is actually one of the worst ones to see from a rider:

I wish I could cut out 5.0. 99.9% of the time they are brand new riders or old riders who just remade an account because their old one was jacked as f***. The new riders take forever and always ask me to stop at f***ing McDonald’s.

Another said, “I have accepted some 4.6x passengers when it’s slow and they turned out to be fine. 5.0 pax are the real wild cards because you can’t truly tell if they are a bad pax or not since most of the time it’s a new account. Pax who use Uber regularly rarely maintain a perfect rating.”

Overall, everyone seems to agree this is a great feature.

For once Uber makes a good feature it’s time sh*tty riders start paying for their attitude, nothing below 4.8 for me from now on.

One of our Facebook followers said, “More rides for me. I’ve had people below a 4 cause no issue. Nevertheless I’m glad the option is being made available.”

This comment probably sums it up best:

How did Uber screw up and do something useful????

Now, when will we see this roll out nationwide? It could be a while – or it could be never! Could you imagine how many passengers would complain if they couldn’t get a ride… indefinitely… all because their rating was low?

If this rolls out nationwide, we predict that there will be major changes. There will probably be incentives to take lower-rated passengers, and passengers will likely have an opportunity to contest a low rating.

In the end, passengers are Uber’s (and Lyft’s) bread and butter – they don’t want to alienate a chunk of their paying customers, even if those customers are horrible.

But maybe that’s the pessimist in us! What do you think – will this feature roll out nationwide? Why or why not?

-Paula @ RSG