Big Changes to Uber in California
Uber is making big changes to its app in California in an effort to comply with the state’s new gig work law that makes it harder for the company to classify drivers as independent contractors.
The email sent to riders explains that the changes are needed to keep Uber available to as many qualified drivers as possible, without restricting the number of drivers who can work at a given time. Fewer drivers on the road would mean a more expensive and less reliable service for you.
The thinking is that by giving drivers more control over their rides and making fares more transparent, they can avoid some of the repercussions of the law. You will no longer get a fixed price before you take a ride, and some Uber Rewards benefits are going away. Here’s a recap of the changes.
Estimated Price Range
In California you will now see a price range rather than a set price before you request any non-Pool ride, which is our best estimate of what the trip will cost you. The final price will be calculated at the end of your trip, based on the actual time and distance traveled. You can see the final price on your receipt or in the app.
Schedule Rides with Favorite Drivers
After you give a driver a 5-star rating, you can now add them as a Favorite Driver. Next time you request a scheduled ride, your favorite drivers will have the opportunity to accept your reservation. If you give a driver a 1-star rating, you won’t be matched on future rides.
Changes to Uber Rewards
We unfortunately have to discontinue some Uber Rewards benefits, like price protection on a route and flexible cancellations, for trips in California. To learn more, see the Rewards hub in your Uber app. We’re actively working on new benefits for California riders, so stay tuned for future announcements.
Changes for Drivers
There are big changes for drivers, too. They will be able to see more trip information, like a trip’s time, distance, destination, and estimated fare ahead of time, before accepting a ride request. They can also reject a request without penalty, which can lead to more frequent rejection of shorter trips that drivers don’t think are worth it. Drivers could also refuse to accept rides to certain neighborhoods.