The price of Uber and Lyft rides is through the roof ahead of Memorial Day Weekend – with some passengers saying they’re paying less for cross-country flights.
Hailing rides have become increasingly expensive in recent weeks as a result of a rise in demand with more Americans traveling, a shortage of drivers, and the scarcity of rental cars.
"Today my Uber ride from Midtown to JFK cost me as much as my flight from JFK to SFO," one user posted on Twitter about his ride to New York's JFK International Airpot from Manhattan earlier this week. The upset traveler posted a photo of his flight from New York City to San Francisco that appeared to have cost him $262.40.
The apparent price hike has been ongoing for weeks. Another social media user tweeted last month they were quoted $147 for an Uber from JFK to Times Square.
"A cab was half that price with tip," they said.
Travelers in other parts of the country seem to be facing unusually long wait times, as well.
In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Danielle DiMartino Booth told USA Today a Lyft took 45 minutes to get to Boca Raton earlier this month from the airport and said it was double the cost of the ride before the pandemic. She also told the publication she experienced long wait times at airports in New York, Orlando, Dallas and Phoenix.
With more Americans vaccinated against the coronavirus, travel continues to surge. More than 37 million Americans are expected to travel over the weekend, according to estimates from American Automobile Association (AAA). And ride-hailing companies can’t keep up.
"We’re seeing big increases in demand for rides, as vaccines roll out and people start moving again. We’re working to meet demand, including providing incentives to drivers, who are busier and earning more than they were even before the pandemic," a spokesperson for Lyft told FOX Business in an email Friday.
Lyft said on its May 4 earnings call it’s focused on increasing the number of drivers on its platform to meet the higher demand noting that drivers going through the onboarding process for the company were up by more than 25% from the end of February.
Uber is also facing a shortage of drivers, spokeswoman Becky Katz Davis, told USA Today saying "many drivers" stopped working during the pandemic while people were in lockdown and businesses were mandated to close.