Uber said Wednesday it will deactivate some drivers' accounts here in Los Angeles as it acknowledged a couple dozen of them have been gaming the system at Los Angeles International Airport, using apps that provide fake location data to jump them to the front of the line for pickups.
Megan Prichard, Uber's general manager for Southern California, joined Take Two's A Martinez to talk about the latest with Uber and airport pickups.
WHAT DRIVERS WERE DOING AT LAX THAT GOT THEM DEACTIVATED
We deactivated a couple dozen drivers. We found drivers using apps that provide fake location data to try and take advantage of a queue system we have at LAX to match riders with drivers who've been waiting in a line. These apps hold a driver's place in the queue and bump down other drivers on a list, directly hurting our honest drivers who are patiently waiting their turn for a ride.
HOW PASSENGERS ARE AFFECTED BY DRIVERS GAMING THE LAX SYSTEM
We want to create a community of Uber riders and drivers respecting our community guidelines, which prohibit any type of fraudulent behavior. So we do this to create a better experience for everyone. This means more drivers will come to the airport, there will be shorter lines generally and shorter wait times.
REMATCH SYSTEM AT LAX SHORTENS WAIT TIMES
We've made some recent changes that cut the drop-off-to-pickup time for drivers by 95 percent. So drivers can drop off at Terminal 1 and be immediately matched to a pickup in Terminal 2, reducing their next trip wait time to just two minutes. If another rider is immediately available, we have a queue system where drivers are waiting in a remote line, but it takes sometimes five to 10 minutes for the drivers to get into LAX when they're coming in from the remote lot, and we want to make sure that the drivers who are coming in have a fair opportunity to be connected with a trip at the airport.
MINIMUM PAYMENTS FOR UBER DRIVERS AT LAX
We at Uber have invested in giving drivers a $10 minimum payout for any trip related to LAX. We know traffic can sometime be very, very heavy there, so any trip below $10, let's say you're going to the airport Sheraton as a rider. The Uber service will now cover the difference to give the driver a $10 minimum payout for those shorter trips.