Higher prices for Uber and Lyft
Last week I attended a family wedding in North Carolina. We didn’t bother to rent a car thinking it would be easier and less expensive to take Uber or Lyft from the airport to the hotel, then again from the hotel to the various events throughout the weekend. It was somewhat easier, but I’m not so sure it was less expensive.
Each time we needed a ride, we checked both the Uber and Lyft apps. Cars were not readily available and we had to wait every time. We learned after the first day not to wait until the last minute to reserve a ride as we often did previously to avoid being late to the event. As we were in Raleigh, a major city, the shortage of cars available to take us to our destinations surprised us.
As for the cost, the prices were high. Sometimes. The difference in cost varied significantly depending on by app and timing. If Uber was exorbitant, we checked Lyft to see if the price was less, or vice versa. If the price was high for both, we waited a few minutes, then tried again and often the fee was lower. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason for the pricing.
Reasons for the High Prices for Uber and Lyft Rides
I asked some of the drivers about the higher prices for rides. Basically, it’s a question of supply and demand; less drivers equals elevated prices. Here are some reasons drivers shared with me:
- Drivers are in short supply due to the tight labor supply
- When the pandemic hit and passengers dried up, many drivers found other jobs.
- Some individuals don’t feel safe enough yet to drive passengers due to the close customer contact.
- Wages from Uber and Lyft are very low, so drivers pick and choose which rides they accept.
Are the high prices here to stay?
This is not a problem that’s likely to go away anytime soon. Uber and Lyft are trying to lure drivers back with incentives and bonuses, but are not yet back to where they were. The novelty of driving for one of these companies and the flexibility and extra income they provide seems to have worn off for many.
I may go back to cabs for now – they are not only more available and reliable, but the prices are not all that different these days.
What are your thoughts about ride share apps?