Wait times and price surges are on the rise for Uber and Lyft as travelers take off for the Memorial Day weekend.
The recent surge in prices and wait times comes as Lyft and Uber struggle to find drivers who can meet the demands of antsy customers on the go as they return to their pre-pandemic lifestyle. The two rival ride-share companies did acknowledge that prices are up across the board, but wouldn’t delve into specifics as to why. A recent analysis by research film Rakuten Intelligence discovered the cost of a ride was 37 percent higher in March than a year ago. In April that cost rose to 40 percent.
But prices will hit an all-time high this weekend as a result of Memorial Day travel. “Today my Uber ride from Midtown to JFK cost me as much as my flight from JFK to SFO,” wrote one frustrated Uber user on Twitter. The trip appeared to have cost him $262.40. As more and more people get vaccinated, an expected 37 million Americans are planning to hit the road this weekend to go see their friends and family, a demand the ride-sharing apps just can’t keep up with.
“We’re seeing big increases in demand for rides, as vaccines roll out and people start moving again. We're working to meet demand, including providing incentives to drivers, who are busier and earning more than they were even before the pandemic,” a spokesperson for Lyft told FOX Business.
Uber also is struggling to find drivers, with spokesperson Betsy Katz Davis telling USA Today that “many drivers” stopped working during the pandemic.