Data showing Uber, Lyft avoid north Minneapolis is inaccurate

The city of Minneapolis admits inaccuracies with data released last week that suggests Uber and Lyft avoid picking up passengers in north Minneapolis. The city’s licensing department on Tuesday said it didn’t request its information correctly and that Uber and Lyft collect data differently.

Over the last two weeks, the city did its own testing to see if the drivers showed up on the north side when requested. According to the city, the idea that the north side was being redlined just isn't true.

"In the end, we found out that that wasn't the case at all -- Uber was measuring data one way and Lyft another way," Minneapolis business license manager Grant Wilson said. "So what we did is we tested with secret shoppers over the last two weeks and we went to all parts of north Minneapolis. We did eight different tests at different times of the day and different metrics played into it. And as you heard, they came within minutes to every one of our test rides."

The city had released one year’s worth of data from 25 drivers from each company. A Star Tribune report noted the following:

“From May to July, nearly 3 percent of UberX drivers, the lowest-cost option available, avoided the northern edge of north Minneapolis, while just more than 2 percent avoided the North Dowling Avenue area. Lyft drivers, who serve a smaller coverage area than Uber, dismissed even more trips, about 14.54 percent in the near north areas.”

But 8 tests over the last 2 weeks on the north side show all requests for Uber and Lyft drivers were answered within one minute and most drivers arrived within 5 minutes. The longest wait for a ride in north Minneapolis during the spot checks was 12 minutes.

Wilson said they would continue to do the secret shopper tests, and called it a major success.