The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the amount of available jobs across the nation. Unemployment benefits offered during these hard times have also played a significant role in stealing workers away from their companies. The car service industry is among these careers being negatively impacted. Many people working for Uber or Lyft were forced to retire for the time being due to lack of work. Despite the world beginning to open back up, these former workers have not been returning back to work. On the other hand, with the world opening back up, more and more people have been taking advantage of this and beginning to return back to living a normal life. Companies such as Uber and Lyft expected their workers to return once unemployment benefits halted, however that was not the case. As a result, current drivers are making more money while customers pay higher fare rates.
The cost of an Uber or Lyft was 37% higher in March than it was just a year ago. Much of this is due to the fact that there aren’t enough drivers. The number of drivers is 40% less than normal capacity. Corporations have been paying drivers more in a process of surge pricing to lure drivers. Some of these surges have resulted in 50% price jumps and higher. In New York City, the hourly wage for a driver is about $37.44 and in Houston the hourly wage is $22.97. These newly increased pensions are a direct response to the price surges being used by the companies. As a way to incentivize drivers, Uber and Lyft implemented rewards such as cash bonuses for completing different tasks while working. Contrarily, these rising prices have angered many of the car service’s customers and caused them to start looking at alternative options.
With the ongoing efforts to restore the economy after the pandemic there are hopes that the car service industry will eventually return back to normal. Car services such as Uber and Lyft are working frantically to bring in more workers to help restore prices back to normal and ease the workload on their drivers. The inflated prices can only carry on for so much longer before more and more customers begin to turn elsewhere for their transportation needs.