Newbie driver here.
How can you determine the riders destination before accepting the ride? (Uber)
The Guru Take
Uber does not allow this information until you accept the ride.
The driver cannot see the final destination of the rider until he or she accepts the ride. This is to prevent drivers from cherry picking the rides they accept.
Why are they cherry picking the rides? Drivers often prefer longer trips over shorter trips because the profit margin is larger for big trips. They may also dislike trips to certain neighborhoods, trips that would require expensive (toll-ridden) return trips, or trips that involve traffic congestions. There are many reasons they may want to decline a ride, and this policy prevents that.
Every ignored or declined request causes a delay and increases the wait time for the passenger. Uber is trying to mimize this from happening.
Note: There is a feature in the Uber Driver App where the driver can specify their preference in a general direction he or she wants to go. Say, for example, when the driver is close to the end of a shift and wants to head in the direction of his or her home.
UPDATE 9/28/2018: Since earlier in 2018, Uber and Lyft are both experimenting with a feature where the destination address and/or estimated trip length are displayed *before* the trip is accepted. Lyft calls this the "Estimated Trip Time" and they have been testing this in certain markets with certain set of drivers. Uber also has rolled out a similar functionality where the destination is actually displayed *as long as they meet certain criteria*, such as having high enough acceptance rate.
on Lyft there is a Scheduled Ride section (sort of like a job board) it displays avaialble scheduled rides probably with pickup somewhere within 10 mile radius of where you are at the moment of looking at that screen. On this screen you will see pickup and drop off locations and approximate fare, so that is an instance where drivers can see destination :) and of course in Destination filter mode, while you can't see destination exactly you do have an idea of general direction since ou are the one who entered the destination filter :)