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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 18th November 2016 > A BLACK CAR PROBLEM

A BLACK CAR PROBLEM

African-American riders of UberX and Lyft face longer waits and more cancellations

@sandyong_yx

IT WAS A warm evening at the end of July, and LeRon Barton was bar-hopping in Santa Monica, California, when his good night soon came to an ugly end. Barton, who is African-American, and three friends hailed an Uber car. The driver asked unexpected questions: “Are you going to Vegas?” (They weren’t.) “Do you have any bags?” (They didn’t.) He then said his Toyota Avalon was too small for four passengers. (It wasn’t.)

An altercation ensued when the driver said, “If you all want to find another driver, you can,” followed by an expletive. He then drove off, leaving Barton and his friends without a ride. Was Barton unlucky or the victim of discrimination?

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