Like so many other industries in what is slowly becoming a post-COVID world, ride-sharing companies have suffered from a shortage of workers. The lack of Uber and Lyft drivers has been particularly painful in cities where tourism is increasing and is exacerbated by rental car companies not having enough cars to keep up with demand.
Las Vegas has been particularly hard hit with a lack of Uber/Lyft drivers, where waits at popular locations such as Fremont Street on a Saturday night can be as high as 2 hours. The Nevada Transportation Authority said peak wait times have jumped 225% since March 2021.
The main reason for the slowdown was since Nevada was in a State of Emergency due to COVID-19, surge pricing wasn’t allowed to be used (o prevent price gouging). Surge pricing (also known as “dynamic pricing”) is the act of making a service more expensive during times of higher demand. That’s where the “real” money is for rideshare drivers, and with that turned off, there was significantly less incentive to work for Uber or Lyft – people could make more money working other jobs, in other cities, etc.
However KTNV 13 Action News reports on May 28th, NV Governor Steve Sisolak officially ended the ban that disallowed price surging, effective immediately. This means there should be more incentive for drivers to drive. More drivers means less waiting for rideshares.
Representatives from both Uber and Lyft praised the Governor’s move.
An Uber spokesperson told 13 Action News:
Uber thanks Governor Sisolak and the NTA [Nevada Transportation Authority] for working with the industry on solutions to help meet the increased demand of travelers and riders. With more people becoming vaccinated and Nevada’s economy reopening, Uber is focused on bringing back earnings opportunities for drivers during busy times and improving reliability for Nevada riders.
A Lyft spokesperson said:
Thanks to Governor Sisolak’s emergency regulation, we’ll be able to better serve Nevada residents and visitors. As more drivers join and return to the platform, this regulation will help to positively impact rider experience and driver earnings.
Of course this also means that more expensive surge pricing will be back in Las Vegas. But perhaps it’s better to pay more for your ride during popular times than it is to sit for forever, waiting for your ride to get there in the first place.
In future emergencies, surge pricing in Nevada will only be banned for 30 days.
Feature Photo: Public Domain
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary