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Ride-Share Companies Uber And Lyft Jacking Up Prices In NYC -- And Experts Say It May Get Worse Before It Gets Better

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- If you've noticed your Uber or Lyft ride costs more lately, you're not alone. The ride-share companies admit prices have been surging and experts warn this could just be the beginning.

Star Smith was taking Uber daily to go to work in Harlem, but she deleted the app last month after her commute more than doubled in cost.

"I live in the Bronx. To here they want $44 and that's a lot compared to a $15 cab ride," Smith told CBS2's Ali Bauman on Tuesday.


With the city reopening and more people getting vaccinated, these last few weeks riders have noticed Ubers and Lyfts are not only more expensive, they take longer to arrive.

"Never has three miles been like $45, $60," said William McChriston of the Sugar Hill section of Manhattan.

"My friends came from Puerto Rico to visit us and their Uber from Newark to here cost more than the flight from Puerto Rico to here," Omar Andron said.

And switching to public transit or yellow cabs isn't so easy in neighborhoods like Sugar Hill.

"The yellow cab is also a bit of gamble. If you go to the street, you don't know if you'll find one or not," Andron said.

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Daniel Ives is managing director of equity research at Wedbush Securities.

"It's about 50 to 70% higher than pre-pandemic prices," Ives said.

Uber says many of its drivers stopped driving during the height of the pandemic, but now there are more people requesting trips than there are drivers available.

"You have drivers in a situation say last March and April, where their income essentially got cut off immediately. However, what did happen was other gig economy jobs began to develop," said David Gill, VP of analytics and insight for Rakuten Intelligence. "Drivers actually sort of shifted into these other marketplaces."

A spokesman for Lyft told CBS2, "We're working to meet demand, including providing incentives to drivers."

And Uber says it is, "launching a $250 million driver stimulus to boost already high earnings for drivers."

But for now, "If drivers continue to just trickle in with what type of demand we're seeing, this could almost be just the start. We could see prices increase even further going forward," Ives said.

Buckle up for what could be a pricey summer.

Uber and Lyft both admit their prices are up but would not tell CBS2 by how much.


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