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Drivers have to wait a long time as Uber and Lyft try to recruit drivers.

Driver wearing a mask

At this time of last year, Uber and Lyft saw declining demand for their flagship ride-hailing service as fears of the coronavirus kept most people at home. By May 2020, Uber’s car bookings are down 80 percent from a year earlier.

But now, as people get vaccinated and some states are easing public health restrictions, demand for riders is soaring, Uber and Lyft are struggling to recruit enough drivers to meet their needs.

“Now it takes forever to get an Uber,”

; a man outside Boston’s Fenway Park told local television station NBC 10.Another man who recently completed an Uber ride to Fenway said he waited 16 minutes. For the driver to arrive

Uber is stepping up to recruit.

Not surprisingly, drivers are in short supply. The risk of COVID infection has not been exhausted, so people are still at risk of their health when driving the shuttle. At the same time, the economy has recovered, driven by last year’s high savings and a stimulus to lavish spending. Many people who worked as Uber or Lyft drivers in early 2020 moved to other jobs.

Essentially, recruiting drivers takes time and effort.Uber and Lyft spent billions of dollars building a driver group in the first place.

Uber said its driver shortage has enabled drivers to make more money than they did before the outbreak. One of the best paying cities is Philadelphia, where Uber says drivers make an average of $ 31 per hour. Other high-paying cities are Chicago (almost $ 29 / hour), Miami, and Phoenix. (Both for about $ 26 / hour)

These numbers include the time the driver waits during the ride. But not including costs, which Uber says averages around $ 4 an hour.

On Wednesday, Uber announced plans to sweeten the pot, offering a $ 250 million driver incentive.

Some regions face specific challenges.

While rental car companies are experiencing shortages across the country. But some regions were especially severely affected. Boston is one of them.Uber says Boston drivers suffer exceptionally long wait times as Gov. Charlie Baker has effectively declared an emergency banning Uber from using pricing increases. Increased pricing helps balance not only supply and demand But only pay more for the driver But it also encourages drivers to wait or take other forms of transportation.

Meanwhile, in California, Uber said it was considering a new feature that allows Golden State drivers to see their vehicle destinations and set their own prices. The change was introduced earlier this year as part of Uber’s efforts to convince the court that drivers are more independent contractors than employees, but Uber recently told the San Francisco Chronicle that the system. Does not perform well, that is, the driver chooses the most profitable car and refuses the rest. That has made the user experience even worse, which is caused by driver shortages, as it means customers riding less profitable vehicles may struggle to match up with their drivers.

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