For years, Uber has continued to hold its spot as one of the most popular rideshare apps in the United States and throughout the world.
With so many people depending on ridesharing to get around, driving for Uber is becoming an increasingly popular side gig, with 3.9 million Uber drivers around the world today.
While a job as an Uber driver or Lyft driver offers plenty of flexibility, driving around all day can get tedious, and it can seem tempting to bring a passenger along on a drive.
So can Uber drivers have a passenger in 2023?
Here’s everything you need to know about Uber’s community guidelines regarding passengers.
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Can an Uber Driver Have a Passenger?
The short answer is no.
Uber drivers cannot have a passenger in their car when picking up riders.
Under the Uber help section for drivers, Uber explicitly states that while online on the Uber app, only the driver, the requesting Uber passenger, and the rider’s guests are allowed in the car while online on the Uber app.
Why Can’t Uber Drivers Have a Passenger?
While there are a variety of reasons rideshare workers such as Uber and Lyft drivers can’t have passengers, the main issues center around safety, comfort, and health concerns caused by COVID-19.
Community Guidelines Explanation
Uber’s rules, also known as “community guidelines”, highlight their company standards designed to maintain rider and driver safety.
These guidelines include a company policy preventing any extra riders and non-account riders.
As mentioned in the community guidelines, no one besides the Uber driver, requesting rider, and rider’s guests can be in the vehicle to help create a safe environment for everyone involved.
Safety is one of the biggest concerns for Uber drivers and their passengers.
Uber has various measures designed to keep everyone safe.
These safety measures include a screening and background check for every Uber driver before their first trip, rideshare auto insurance with liability coverage, etc.
Because any additional passengers don’t undergo the same background check and precautions, they don’t adhere to the company’s safety standards and community guidelines that create safe and positive experiences for Uber riders.
Passenger comfort is another primary reason Uber prohibits any additional passengers.
The driver is the only one who has been through the vetting process, and most riders would be uncomfortable and dissatisfied with their Uber ride if there’s an additional passenger in the car.
For passengers ordering trip requests through UberX, Uber XL, Uber Black, or any other private ride, they expect the vehicle to fit a certain number of riders and guests comfortably.
An additional passenger takes up this space and prevents customers from having the space and comfort they paid for when making their ride requests.
Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft have adjusted and shifted their company policies to provide safe rides while protecting both drivers and riders.
These include a face mask mandate, a sit-in-the-back rider policy, and new vehicle capacities.
Additional passengers create additional challenges in the face of COVID-19.
Customers and guests will likely struggle to find a car that safely fits their needs with an already limited vehicle capacity.
And with more people than necessary in a small space, any extra passengers are creating additional health risks related to COVID-19.
While Uber prohibits passengers for various reasons, the pandemic just outlined additional safety, comfort, and health concerns that might arise from Uber drivers bringing passengers to pick up riders.
What Happens if You Bring a Passenger?
The Uber app makes it simple to provide feedback and report a driver, so a community guideline breach such as an additional passenger will likely get reported to the company.
So what happens if a customer does report feeling uncomfortable, unsafe, or unhappy with their driver’s extra passenger?
Community Guidelines Breach Penalty
Uber community guidelines highlight safety and respect as some of their main priorities.
Because additional passengers are considered a significant safety concern, drivers can face substantial penalties to their Uber accounts for violating this policy.
If Uber receives a report that a driver brought an unvetted passenger, a specialized team will place that account on hold.
At the same time, they complete a review and investigation of the incident.
If the investigation results in a community guidelines violation, drivers can lose access to some parts of the Uber platform.
In some cases, drivers may even have their Uber accounts permanently deactivated.
Can an Uber Eats Driver Have a Passenger?
Like the company’s other services, Uber Eats outlines community guidelines centered around keeping customers, delivery drivers, and merchants safe and comfortable.
These guidelines include properly handling orders, safely delivering orders, treating everyone with respect, etc.
While Uber’s general guidelines outline rules preventing passengers, there are no specific rules on the Uber Eats platform restricting extra riders for a food delivery driver.
Uber is generally more relaxed when bringing friends or family members along for an Uber Eats trip.
As long as passengers don’t prevent you from efficiently and safely working and completing deliveries on time, additional passengers are generally allowed as long as drivers only do food deliveries.
Becoming a rideshare driver can be a flexible and convenient way to earn some extra money in a gig economy.
For riders, ridesharing platforms like Uber and Lyft offer a safe and comfortable way to travel around their city.
Today, with over 93 million people using the Uber app every month, it’s an especially great choice for rideshare drivers and customers.
One of the main reasons Uber has become so popular is its focus on creating a safe and positive environment for riders and drivers.
Part of this focus includes an extensive list of community guidelines centered around safety and comfort, with specific policies addressing health and safety throughout COVID-19.
With these concerns, Uber does not allow Uber drivers to have passengers in 2023, with significant consequences for any gig worker that violates this rule.
If you’re considering becoming a rideshare driver, be sure to take a look at these guidelines before getting started with Uber driving to prevent losing any access to your account.
Overall, with these precautions, Uber can be an effective, safe, and flexible way to help people get where they need to be while earning some extra money.