Uber appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Uber appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Uber’s new reward for best behaved riders revealed

UBER will now reward riders who consistently get a five-star rating from drivers - by automatically upgrading them to a more luxurious trip.

The ride-share giant confirmed to News Corp a recent pilot program where riders were bumped up from Uber X to Uber Comfort will now be rolled out nationwide from this month.

Uber Australia and New Zealand operations head Dom Taylor compared the upgrade to like being in "premium economy on a plane".

"Riders will still get the comfort at the same Uber X price, it gives them more leg room with a driver who has a high rating of more than 4.85 stars," he said.

Uber riders eligible for an upgrade will get an in-app notification after they've ordered a ride. Drivers have completed at least 500 trips with Uber, and arrive in a newer-model vehicle.

The move comes as the company is also releasing new community guidelines that will now apply across all of its products for drivers and riders who use Uber, Uber Eats or ride JUMP scooters.

Mr Taylor said if riders breach the guidelines, their rating will fall below the minimum average for their city and they will possibly lose access to all Uber apps.

Immediate bans from Uber's platform can be triggered by the use of discriminatory language in front of drivers, or the use of poor language while talking to support staff.

"We had separate guidelines for UberEats and others and they got quite unwieldy, so we've stripped them right back to have one set of community guidelines for every consumer," he said.

"We turned them into simple language everyone can understand and it's all about respect and safety between riders and drivers."

The new guidelines come a year after Uber introduced a ratings-based rider policy to improve user behaviour.

Overall, Mr Taylor said the policy has led to a 28 per cent reduction in poor trip experiences for drivers.

In capital cities, the top rated riders (on average) are led by those in Hobart, followed by Adelaide, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne.

In regional areas, the top rated riders are in Tamworth, NSW.

Among more established Uber cities (prior to last year), the top rated riders are in Wollongong, NSW, Townsville in Queensland, Newcastle in NSW, followed by Queensland's Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast.

The Sunshine Coast and Newcastle also saw the biggest positive jump in ratings given to riders who received information on how to improve their rating.

Mr Taylor said Uber has only had to "deactivate a handful of people" who have breached its guidelines.

"What we've seen are three key pieces of feedback from drivers, number one is attitude, number two is cleanliness and number three is being patient," he said.

Riders on Victoria's Surf Coast are also the most complimentary, with 25 per cent of trips resulting in the rider giving their driver positive feedback on top of a five-star rating.

A recent report from IBISWorld stated Uber has 70.5 per cent of Australia's market share of ridesharing, followed by OLA (12.5 per cent) and Taxify (5.7 per cent).

Industry revenue is expected to grow at 13.7 per cent over five years through 2023-24, to

reach $543.2 million.

Uber's entire community will receive in-app messages and emails about the changes and signage will appear in driver support centres in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

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