Unwanted or Uninvited Passengers

This is, by far, the most serious topic I could cover for all of you Uber Drivers. Riders should pay attention too.

Allowing people to get into your vehicle that do not belong or just want to pay cash is hugely an absolute no-no.

I drive a moderately interesting ride. There are people that constantly come up to my vehicle and ask if they can pay cash. And sometimes, I have the door open for the rider as they’re on their way out. If someone gets into my vehicle that does not belong, I do not treat them with any respect whatsoever.

“Well, you’re just a jerk!”

Absolutely not. Here’s why. Uber has done the research on developing the system that works within the confines of the law. Not I nor the unwanted passenger has done any of that. Here’s what I KNOW is illegal: Picking up a directly Hailed Ride on the street without a Hackney Carriage License is a $500 fine in Boston. Do you think I’m going to sit there and let any under-cover stand-byer tag me for $500 for taking an offer for a cash ride? Absolutely not. Nor will I let them. They have 5 seconds to get out of my car for getting in illegally after I demand that they get out. Who cares… there’s no pay exchanged and there’s no rating that I need to worry about. However if there’s a nice couple that comes out to my vehicle and sees 3 drunk girls in my vehicle, they’re going to be less than pleased… and there goes my rating for that ride.

Here are some things to avoid:

  1. Over-trusting people on the street getting into your vehicle. Pay attention, confirm names and destinations. If the rider has NOT put in the address and you’re questioning whether or not the passengers you have are legit, ask them to put in the address. If they say, Just go to blah blah blah, tell them Uber needs to inventory locations entered by passengers and we can’t do that at this time of night. Lie? Sure. Really? Probably not. Uber needs to know that the Rider entered in the address so that IF there is an error in the drop-off location, it’s NOT ON YOU from entering it in yourself incorrectly. It’s on the Rider.
  2. Being talked into a cash ride. It’s great! It’s Cash! It’s illegal! AND… that $10, $20, or $100 bill they’re waving at you is the absolute target the undercover enforcement is looking for through your windows at the start of your ride. They’re also listening. If you accept a cash offer from someone for a ride… Expect someone to appear in front of your vehicle with his hand up. Shortly thereafter, you’ll be holding an 8 ½ x 5 ½ citation with a $500 fine triple-circled as your heart sinks and your stomach ends up in your throat.
  3. Allowing drunk groups to take advantage of an open door. Uber’s cleanup fee does NOT cover non-uber riders. If the ride was not hailed by that person, Uber is not charging anyone for the cleanup and therefore, you’re not getting paid for the cleanup. Resulting in another form of loss for the day or set of days in that case.
  4. Physically forcing the passenger out of your vehicle. DO NOT TOUCH THE PASSENGER! Seriously… that’s a law suit all in itself that you don’t want, nor do you have time or the money to defend. Just stay away. If they approach you pissed for not driving them, put your hands up by our shoulders or head, shut up, and back up.
  5. Feeling bad for people. It’s sad. There are many people that just need to get from point A to point B and can’t afford it. Helping someone with a ride puts a MASSIVE target on your back… I’m not super familiar with taking a passenger as a show of courtesy or good will, but is that effort really worth the risk? Not in my book.

Things to Focus on:

  1. Allow the unwanted passenger 5 seconds to correct their error and begin exiting the vehicle. 15 seconds tops to get out completely.
  2. If they do not comply, remove yourself from the position of accepting that they are in your car.
  3. Get out of your vehicle and position yourself in the direction of a safe passage to exit and state: “You are illegally in my vehicle, get out. The next step is I find the closest law enforcement officer.”
  4. Thank them for leaving your vehicle and not causing a scene.
  5. Be sure to take note of your rider looking for your vehicle and if they noticed the person causing problems, explain that it was just someone trying to steal their Uber and you followed protocol and verified they were the wrong passenger.

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