Rating Systems made Simple

There are numerous articles about how to increase your ratings, but only a few that discuss the rating systems system. So here goes, how to understand the rating system made simple.


Every ride-share driver is introduced to the rating system immediately upon starting. The golden rule of thumb is "If your last 100 ratings were averaged below 4.6 you most probably would be de-activated" This, of course, leads all drivers to be extremely anxious about their ratings.

The rating system between Uber and Lyft is the same, the only major difference is some rides needed to update your rating, with uber it's 500, and with Lyft it's 100. This means that Lyft is more volatile but easier to fix, while Ubers is static but a problem to fix.

Simple calculation:

You have 4.8 rating. If you are awarded 5 stars you go up by 0.2, if you are rated 1 star, you go down 3.8. So, its very harsh and requires constant attention to detail, and this means choosing your customers and offering a great experience.

Another issue that arises is passenger comprehension or understanding of the system. Most passengers think 4 stars is a great rating; they don't realize that it's a killer rating for drivers…killing their job.

Educating passengers should be Uber's job, but it falls on the driver to deal with this. We suggest that you ask every (EVERY) passenger what they know about the rating system and then correct them if they state that four stars are a good rating. Explain that anything under 4.6 will destroy the driver.

Some passengers always rated drivers with four stars thinking they were giving a good rating, only after being corrected did they realize they could have contributed to the drivers de-activation.

Cultural Divides

The reason a lot of passengers consider a four-star rating as being good is due to their interaction with other rating systems, such as Amazon or Restaurants. Michelin offers three stars only and restaurants boast their Michelin stars. An Amazon product with four stars is a great product. Most customers are ignorant of the rating system rules, so they do not realize that anything under 4.6 is considered to be bad. Global differences, people coming from different cultures rate differently, some are always conservative while other more liberal. Finding out which one rates higher than other is also a major issue in choosing passengers.

Students and Pranks

One source of rating murder is University campuses, where the students sometimes think its fun to "blitz" a driver or drivers by giving out 1-star ratings no matter how great the ride was. A recent white paper was handed out on a campus stating that all students should blast rideshare drivers with bad reviews. It was a prank, but what the idiots didn't realize is that it meant that some hard-working driver would lose their only source of income,

Ratings that are not in your sphere

Passengers sometimes rate rides (drivers) for things that happened to them that were not under the driver's control. These can include traffic congestion, traffic lights, Pool rides and such. All passengers tend to be in a rush, and any slow driving is a cause for panic. Sometimes talking to the passenger helps, but in general, if you get caught in some traffic jam, which was not a mistake on your part, you are still blamed for that.

Rating Challenging and Feedback

Uber and Lyft will not change a rating, even if all the evidence proves it was not your fault or was a prank. Once a rating was made, it's in the system for life. Another reason they cannot be changed is that they are anonymous, in other words, ratings cannot be sourced to a passenger. This means that a really low rating cannot be proven to be wrong. This is done to passengers from irate drivers and of course stopping personal information from being shared online. Imagine if drivers could warn each other of a habitual bad rater.

Corporate Culture

The corporate culture of the rideshare companies is extremely competitive. In fact, its considered a must for employees to oust their bosses and get their position. When living in such a kill or be killed environment it becomes obvious that the top dogs are all really killer sharks in disguise. Employees are subject to an internal rating system too, and as such, a rating system on drivers is considered second nature to their corporate culture. They also incite drivers to maintain constant improvement to survive. That is why over 50% of drivers drop out after 12 months. It's also why the successful drivers usually take the time to learn, improve and evolve.

Founding Perception

The founders of ride-sharing had to deal with the issue of trust. Why would a passenger trust a ride-share driver over a taxi? After all, taxi drivers are all licensed and approved, whereas ride share riders could be anyone and even a dangerous anyone even with all the background screening.

The rating systems, a five-star system was developed from the start as part of the culture to ingrain trust in passengers and quickly increase the influence of ride-sharing as a viable option to replace public transport.

The difference between Uber and Lyft Ratings

Uber changes the rating ever 500 rides, this makes their rating system more static and monthly, which is harder to adjust. Lyfts ratings change every 100 rides, so the driver gets an immediate feedback that can change within a week. Both have issues, but the Uber rating offers the driver a more relaxed atmosphere and allowing them time to adjust to any issues that might arise.

It is possible that the rating systems will adjust over time, with test cases for both companies. The golden rule is to maintain pressure on the driver so that they will constantly improve their service. So the changes will always include a trade-off between driver comfort and Corporate targets.