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'Spring Fever': Ride-Share Drivers See Recent Increase In Work

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Whether it's to work, the doctor's office or a night out at the casino, trips keep ticking up for one local ride-share driver.

When the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns began, Uber driver Michael Moran said the last thing riders wanted to do was get in the back of a stranger's car. Plus, there was nowhere to go.

But in just the past few weeks, he said things are really switching back into gear.

"It's been steady, but it has really taken off in the past two or three weeks," said Moran.

He's noticed the difference, calling it a changed attitude in the backseat.

"I don't know whether it is everyone's just ready to be done so they're becoming a little more lax or they're feeling more confident because they have the vaccine," said Moran.

KDKA's Meghan Schiller asked people: Do you feel ready to pull out the app?

"Where I live, I have a car and I like to bike a lot of places instead of taking an Uber or something," said Jeff Hurst, a college student.

"Every car that I've gotten in has a barrier in between the back seat and front seat and they provide you with masks, hand sanitizer," said Rhonda Johnson, a Pittsburgh resident.

Ride-share giant Lyft made headlines this week when the company said it had its "best week" for rides since the pandemic lockdowns began. In a filing with the SEC, the company said it saw average daily rides jump four percent, up from January.

Meanwhile, Uber's CEO called February's numbers "encouraging" in a recent conference, but also said, "It's too early to tell."

As for Moran, he'll keep cruising in his KIA Soul 30 hours a week.

"I think people are just itching, it's spring fever, let alone spring fever with the possibility of not having COVID looming so large in their lives," he said.

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