Los Angeles, CA

How much is your next rideshare going to hurt your wallet?

Eugene Adams

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Parking in Los Angeles has been a headache for as long as I can remember. Rideshare services helped with that a lot. 

It’s also nice not to worry about having a designated driver or any of the other headaches that come along with driving yourself. 

Recently, finding an affordable and quick ride has seemed a little harder. 

If you have noticed this, you’re not crazy. 

Uber and Lyft really are more expensive right now. 

Rides Really Are More Expensive

In April, Uber fares were 40% more expensive than one year ago

It only gets worse during periods of surge pricing. Prices can rise as much as 50% during higher demand periods. 

Overall, prices and wait times are both significantly higher than pre-pandemic times. 

Why Are Rides More Expensive?

The problem is simple; demand is rising faster than supply. 

Or, in other words, people have started to use rideshares again, but drivers are slow to return to work. 

During the worst of the pandemic, Uber and Lyft lost as much as 94% of their riders

That naturally led to fewer drivers. No rides meant little to no pay. 

Supply and demand need time to even out. 

When Will it Change?

It’s hard to predict when prices will stabilize. But, Uber and Lyft are working hard to speed up the process.

In the last month, Uber has spent $250 million to incentivize drivers to come back to work. Lyft has spent $100 million on driver incentives during the first quarter of the year

Both companies only expect demand for rideshares to increase. They are desperately hoping to entice drivers back onto their platforms to meet the demand. 

My Thoughts

Uber and Lyft’s pricing issue is perfectly normal. A global pandemic is not something you can end with the flip of a switch. 

Los Angeles has been steadily returning to normal, but it takes time. 

Getting rideshare drivers back to work is complicated. 

Some people are enjoying unemployment too much to go back to work. 

Some people are waiting to get vaccinated. 

Some people are still scared of Covid. 

And many more reasons. 

Over time this issue will work itself out. Until then, Los Angeles residents might need to shell out a little more for their next Uber. 

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