Driver Shortages Continue to Impact Lyft and Uber
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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses, including car manufacturing and ride-hailing companies, to redefine how they do things. Chip shortages have led to a reduced supply of new vehicles.
Ride-hailing companies like Lyft and Uber have had to make some changes to stay afloat. As restrictions eased, both Lyft and Uber seemed to be on the cusp of making a full recovery, but the COVID-19 Delta variant might slow their progress. Ride-hailing companies have had to adapt to changes brought on by the pandemic.
Uber and Lyft both face driver shortages
During the peak of the pandemic, very few people were using ride-hailing services. The lack of benefits and low pay paired with the risk of infection reduced the number of drivers willing to work. Both Uber and Lyft continue to face driver shortages.
As restrictions eased and more people received vaccines, ride-hailing companies started seeing more demand. Uber and Lyft were focused on bringing back drivers with better pay incentives.
According to Autoblog, the companies are starting to dial back the extra pay as they get more drivers. The strategy was effective for the companies, but the guaranteed fare per ride dropped by 5.5% to $14.78. It’s not what drivers want to see but this may help Uber and Lyft through the looming Delta variant crisis.
Profits have rebounded, but the Delta variant might hinder growth
In recent months, public data from New York City and Chicago show increased growth in trips and ride-hail vehicles, as reported by Autoblog. But the number of vehicles in NYC in June is still 30% below their highest level in March 2019. Analysts think that demand will continue to outpace supply in the upcoming months.
However, a rapid spread of the Delta variant has led several health authorities to reimpose restrictions. This can heavily impact Lyft and Uber’s efforts to recover and profit. Ride-hailing companies might end up facing the same problems they saw in 2020.
Uber continues to invest in their delivery services
Uber has done more than Lyft in an attempt to navigate the pandemic’s uncertainty. Uber had already branched out into delivery services before the pandemic, with UberEats orders offsetting the company’s ride-hail losses.
Many restaurants shut down, but the takeout and delivery business boomed. Uber is continuing to expand its delivery services. They recently acquired Drizly, an alcohol delivery company, and partnered with Costco and Albertsons.
By doubling down on their food-delivery service, Uber is likely to survive, and continue to grow even after the pandemic.