- Free Consultations / No Fees Until We Win
- (213) 927-3700
Personal Injury Firm
Uber and Lyft are reportedly offering cash incentives to entice drivers back on the road. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, both ride-hailing companies are facing severe driver shortages as the demand for rides has started to rise again.
As vaccination rates increase and different parts of the U.S. start to reopen, customer spending on Uber and Lyft increased 30% from Feb. to Mar. Uber reportedly said that total monthly bookings, including food delivery and passenger service, reached an all-time high in Mar. This is a sign that demand is increasing again, but drivers haven’t returned in the same numbers.
“In 2020, many drivers stopped driving because they couldn’t count on getting enough trips to make it worth their time. In 2021, there are more riders requesting trips than there are drivers available to give them—making it a great time to be a driver,” Dennis Cinelli, Uber Vice President Mobility in the U.S. and Canada, reportedly said in a blog post.
Uber announced it will distribute a $250 million “stimulus” fund over the next few months to both new and returning drivers in the form of temporary incentives and guarantees. Another perk: Uber partnered with Walgreens to make it easier for drivers to get vaccinated.
Lyft, on the other hand, is offering bonuses of up to $800 for referring former drivers back to the app. The company is also reportedly covering the cost of rental cars and offering extra cash to drivers when a trip lasts longer than nine minutes
The mismatched supply and demand between riders and drivers became a problem throughout the entire country — but especially in California. Here, Uber began to allow drivers to see destinations before accepting rides and set their own pricing. However, drivers reportedly began cherry-picking lucrative rides and denying others, making the service unreliable. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that one-third of drivers turned down 80% of rides.
Because of this, Uber recently revoked said driver privileges, claiming it was hurting their business. The company had given these as a way to avoid reclassifying its workers as employees under AB5. It had argued that AB5 didn’t apply to Uber drivers because they aren’t core to their business and that drivers really are independent because they’re “free from the control and direction” of the companies. In an attempt to prove its independence argument, Uber gave California drivers more control.
Nicole Moore, a Lyft driver and organizer with Los Angeles-based Rideshare Drivers United, told Market Watch that drivers she knows are not “taking crappy rides” because they don’t want to risk contracting COVID-19 for little compensation.