Wednesday, August 4

Uber CEO says ride prices will be close to normal by September

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that ride prices will return “to nearly the good old days” by September, The New York Times reported on Thursday.

During the pandemic, the popular ride-sharing app lost billions as people isolated at home. Now, users are opening the black-and-white app again — only to be shocked by high prices and long wait times.

Uber fares in April cost 40% more than they did the same time a year ago, per data from research firm Rakuten Intelligence, first reported by The Times.

This increase becomes even more drastic during “surge pricing” periods, when Ubers up pay to attract more drivers, Insider’s Grace Dean reported in June. In New York City, an Uber driver can make around $37.44 an hour, while in Houston the median hourly wage is $22.97.

“We have not seen driver supply keep up with the demand growth in the US,” Khosrowshahi said at a JP Morgan financial conference in May.

At the same conference, John Zimmer, the co-founder and president of Lyft, said the company saw 25% more interest in driving for the platform from February to May.

Both companies are devoting millions of dollars to driver recruitment and retention. Khosrowshahi told Maureen Dowd at The Times that the aggressive investments in drivers will hurt second-quarter margins.

Read more: Uber is spending $250 million to persuade drivers to get back on the road

“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, an Uber VP, wrote on the company’s website.

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