If you feel like your last Uber or Lyft trip cost a whole lot more, that's because it did. CNBC reported on new research from Rakuten Intelligence on Tuesday that showed the average trip riders take using or costs 92% more as of this July. The figures look at a 2018 baseline for comparison, which is important to understand the COVID-19 effects. And that's where a lot of the problems lie.
According to the research and report, the main cause for the price spikes is a shortage of drivers. CNBC reported a vast number of former Uber and Lyft drivers turned to different side gigs once the pandemic commenced, such as food or grocery delivery. While people weren't grabbing rides to head out on the town during lockdowns, they were ordering plenty of take-out to support local businesses.
As of this past July, Uber and Lyft driver ranks are 40% below the companies' needs, according to the reports. Neither company immediately returned a request for comment on the figures.
While drivers stay away from their past gigs, Uber and Lyft are trying to lure new drivers in with bonuses for signing up and higher pay. However, such trends could force these now-public companies to take an even closer look at, which one day offer the promise of forgoing human drivers altogether.