Uber and Lyft said US drivers on their ride-hail platforms were earning significantly more than before the pandemic as trip demand outstrips driver supply, prompting the companies to offer extra incentives.
Uber Technologies said it would invest an additional $250 million to boost driver earnings and offer payment guarantees in an effort to incentivize new and existing drivers.
Uber’s VP of US & Canada Mobility, Dennis Cinelli, in a blog post told drivers to take advantage of higher earnings before pay returns to pre-pandemic levels as more drivers return to the platform.
Uber said drivers spending 20 hours online per week in many cities were seeing median hourly earnings around 25% to 75% higher than pre-pandemic, making around $31 in Philadelphia and close to $29 in Chicago. Those earnings are after Uber’s fee but before customer tips and expenses, which drivers are responsible for as independent contractors.
Lyft Inc said drivers in the company’s top-25 markets were earning an average of $36 per hour compared to $20 per hour pre-pandemic. Those numbers include tips, but Lyft Inc did not disclose the share of tips in earnings. Lyft is also offering additional incentives and promotions in select markets.
The uptick in demand comes as more US states lift lockdown restrictions implemented in response to the seemingly endless COVID-19 pandemic, vaccination rates increase and a growing number of Americans start moving again.
But ride-hail drivers, many of whom stopped driving during the height of the pandemic over safety concerns and amid sluggish demand, have been slow to return to the road.
Uber and Lyft executives have told investors driver supply was a concern going into the second half of the year, when demand is expected to ramp up further. Lyft said investments to boost driver supply will create first-quarter revenue headwind of $10 million to $20 million.
The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Translation from English to a growing list of other languages via Google Cloud Translation. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Tina Bellon in Austin, Texas. Editing by Stephen Coates and Nick Zieminski.
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