Increased rideshare prices for holiday season explained

3 mins read

Do you often use rideshare to get around the region or to travel to and fro the airport? If yes, then you should have noticed the recent spike in prices.

It is a busy season for trips to and from the local airports because of the holidays. Uber and Lyft, the commonly known rideshare companies, said the increase in demand for the service means an increase in prices.

“I mostly rely on Uber or public transit,” commuter Kat Allen from San Francisco said.  

Allen, who does not own a car, said she used Uber more frequently during the health crisis.

“They typically drive with the windows down a bit too so I feel a little bit better about the ventilation,” she said.

Allen said that she recently noticed she pays double for her trips.

She shared to ABC7 News the screenshots of her ride on Friday when she traveled from the Lower Pac Heights/Western Addition area to San Francisco International Airport.

“It’s busy, fares are higher than usual,” she said.

“I’m not quite sure what’s been going on,” she added.

Ridesharing company Uber told the media outlet that the costs are expected for the holidays. “We expect this to be a particularly busy holiday season and you may see elevated surge levels due to higher demand,” it said, adding that they also see a steady increase in driver supply.

Apart from Uber, Lyft users also notice an increase in their payment for service. A .8 mile trip from Embarcadero to Nob Hill is worth $32.86, as shared through a screengrab of an ABC7 News producer.

“As vaccines rolled out and people started moving again, we began to see the demand for rides outpace the number of available drivers,” Lyft explained to ABC7 News.

According to the company, it had added thousands of drivers and anticipates improvement in wait times and prices.

“Waiting it out usually has been my go-to strategy,” Allen said.

The strategy was also among the solutions Uber sees to lessen the prices. It also recommends commuters pick up someone to share the fare with or add a stop.

“If only it were that simple,” Allen said.

Lyft recommends their wait and save option which allows riders to wait for a ride that does not cost much without hurting the earnings of the drivers.

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