Uber is ingrained in Penn's culture. You rate drivers; they rate you. It reeks of MGMT 100. But Uber garners criticism for lack of transparency—checking your own rating is difficult and the whole process comes off as secretive.

Street set out to decode how to up your Uber rating. We talked to drivers, browsed the website and heard horror stories, all to augment a figure arguably more important than your GPA.

Your driver doesn’t hate you quite as much as you think.

Uber recently released a list of actions that result in being banned, including sex with someone in the car, openly racist actions and physically inciting a fight. But being banned is extreme. Let’s talk about what you do that simply pisses off your driver.

We spoke with two drivers about their horror stories, how they feel about Penn students in Uber and barf. Lots of barf. Steve and Eric both said they like how Penn students drive up business, particularly during the school year and late at night. Each driver tends to stay around campus, where he can always find someone outside the Upper Quad gate or stumbling away from Allegro. 

Eric, a part–time driver and part–time drug and alcohol counselor, laments when people hop into his car smelling of cigarettes (or worse). A few nights ago, he says, a horde of college–age boys hopped in reeking of weed. The smell lingered for a few rides after; he started to ask riders, “Do you smell that?” He's also had to console crying passengers (we’ve all been there) or witnessed arguments between couples in the backseat. Steve mentioned that once, directly after he had given a rider a five–star rating, the rider’s friend proceeded to throw up — everywhere. But both men say they very rarely give lower than five stars.

These drivers had positive things things to say about Penn students on the whole. College students drive up demand, they said, and tend to be respectful riders. All you need to do for that elusive five–star: be chatty, rate the driver and ask before you do anything crazy. Generally, just don’t be shitty. Or puke. 

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons. 


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