Uber, Lyft prices soar amid easing of pandemic restrictions, driver shortage

People ordering Uber and Lyft rides are getting a shock when they see the prices. Fares have skyrocketed recently and experts say the cost bumps will most likely be around for the next few months.

"We've seen prices that are sometimes triple what they normally are," said Ygal Arounian, a financial analyst with Wedbush Securities.

One woman's Facebook post said she paid $28 for an Uber ride from Fullerton to John Wayne Airport. Her return trip from the airport to Fullerton cost her $109.

Arounian blames the high prices on a surge in ride demand and a shortage of rideshare drivers. Pandemic restrictions are easing, and more people are getting vaccinated and heading out, he said, pumping up demand.

In the meantime, many Uber and Lyft drivers have not gone back behind the wheel.

"Drivers are still getting unemployment benefits and they're still living off their stimulus checks, and that hasn't put as much pressure on people to go back and drive," Arounian told ABC7.

Uber demand jumps as delivery grows, ride-hailing recovers
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Uber saw record demand in the first quarter as its food delivery business grew and ride-hailing began to see some recovery.


Uber didn't respond to requests for comment.

A spokesperson for Lyft acknowledged the rise in prices and says the company is working to attract more drivers to the platform.

"We're ... providing incentives to drivers, who are busier and earning more than they were even before the pandemic," the spokesperson said.

Arounian said that because demand for drivers is taking off, so is the amount they're getting paid per mile.

"The cost of the ride is going up," he said. "They'll get more per ride in the near-term, and Uber and Lyft are saying, 'Hey, come on and we'll give you even extra bonuses.'"

Analysts expect more rideshare drivers will be drawn back to their cars and the prices should settle down by June or July.
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