By Stacey Leasca
May 30, 2019
Woman tries to get into Uber car
Credit: Getty Images

Since its launch in 2009, Uber has become the ride-sharing service. Across the globe, an estimated 110 million people actively use the service to get around. But now, any poorly behaving users could face banishment forever.

On Wednesday, Uber rolled out a feature that will ban users who "develop a significantly below average rating." This, Uber explained in a statement, is to help make the experience safer for both users and drivers.

"Respect is a two-way street, and so is accountability," Kate Parker, Uber's head of Safety Brand and Initiatives, said in a statement. "While we expect only a small number of riders to ultimately be impacted by ratings-based deactivations, it's the right thing to do."

The feature, which comes just months after the app unveiled new safety features for riders, has actually already been in use in several countries, including Australia, New Zealand, and India — but Uber felt it was finally time to bring it to the United States too.

Now, when riders enter the app they will be presented with a screen displaying the community guidelines of using Uber. They will then be asked if they have read and understood the guidelines before they can move on.

“Riders may lose access to Uber if they develop a significantly below average rating,” Uber’s statement read. Prior to being kicked off the app, Uber will provide riders with tips on how to improve their ratings, such as “encouraging polite behavior, avoiding leaving trash in the vehicle and avoiding requests for drivers to exceed the speed limit.”

Riders will have several opportunities to improve their rating prior to losing access to the Uber apps. However, what Uber didn’t reveal is the threshold for when riders would be kicked off, which means everyone must remain vigilant with their behavior when using the app.

"Each city has its own minimum threshold which is directly related to the average rider rating in that city," Uber spokesperson Grant Klinzman told NPR.

If you’re curious about where your current user rating stands by opening the Uber app, clicking the main menu, and looking at the number under their username.

"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," spokesperson Moira Muntz said in a statement to NPR. "For too long there has been one-sided accountability and this is a positive step toward correcting that."