Rideshare app prices rise in NYC by less than half the number of available taxis as pre-pandemic

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NYC man claims his 20-minute Uber from Midtown to JFK cost him $248 — amid rising prices on ridesharing apps across the country and a lack of drivers as the country returns to normal

  • Sunny Madra, a Ford executive, discussed his expensive 20-mile trip from Midtown Manhattan to JFK Airport on May 26.
  • After failing to find a yellow cab, he paid $248.90 for an Uber and $262.40 for a cross-country ticket to San Francisco
  • That trip would have cost about $52 in the NYC cab, according to the TLC
  • According to TLC, there were 4,900 yellow taxis in NYC in April, which is less than half of the 11,400 taxis available in February 2020 before the lockdown.
  • Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft fill the void and raise prices
  • Uber is spending $250 million on temporary bonuses to get more drivers on the road, spokesman Harry Hartfield told The New York Post
  • A Lyft spokesperson told The New York Post that the company has also seen “big surges” in demand

Sunny Madra, a Ford executive, tweeted about his precious May 26 Uber trip from Midtown Manhattan to the JFK Airport

Sunny Madra, a Ford executive, tweeted about his precious May 26 Uber trip from Midtown Manhattan to the JFK Airport

A man has told how his 20-minute Uber ride from Midtown New York to JFK Airport cost him $248.90 — just $13.50 less than his cross-country flight to San Francisco — as shortages of yellow taxis in NYC drive prices soaring for ride sharing apps.

Sunny Madra, a Ford executive, tweeted about his morning adventure to the airport on May 26 after being unable to find a yellow cab in New York for 20 minutes.

A yellow taxi would have cost about $52, according to the Taxi and Limousine Commission, but instead paid nearly five times that. Meanwhile, his plane ticket from New York City to San Francisco cost him $262.40, he tweeted.

The soaring prices of ride-sharing apps come as the number of yellow taxis in the city plummets after the pandemic.

“As the city’s economy recovers and vaccination rates increase, drivers are returning to Uber to take advantage of increased revenue opportunities from our driver incentives while they are still available,” Uber spokesman Harry Hartfield told DailyMail.com

New York City has lost more than half of its yellow cabs in the past year, from about 11,400 cabs in February 2020 to 4,900 in April 2021. The New York Post reported.

And the problem will get much worse as more tourist attractions reopen this summer.

“Summer can be really crazy,” Bruce Schaller, a transportation expert and former city transportation officer, told the Post.

Drivers who left because of the pandemic are reluctant to come back because they have found work elsewhere or continue to collect unemployment.

A Queens coordinator told the Post that only about 50% of their drivers are on the road, blaming a $300-a-week federal increase in unemployment benefits to keep drivers from work.

“Receiving unemployment has certainly reduced their desire to return,” he said.

And companies like Uber and Lyft are filling the void, charging astronomical prices that desperate riders are willing to pay to get to their destinations on time.

Uber said it is spending $250 million on temporary bonuses to get more drivers on the road, while New York drivers currently earn about $38 an hour plus tips.

Jonathan Vega, a 30-year-old Uber driver from Queens, told The New York Post that he is bringing in a whopping $40 an hour, compared to $25 an hour earlier this year.

A Lyft spokesperson told The New York Post that the company has also seen “big increases” in demand, but declined to provide more details on pricing or driver fees.

Uber is spending $250 million on temporary bonuses to get more drivers on the road, spokesman Harry Hartfield told The New York Post

NYC yellow cabs were hard to come by, leaving the door open for ride-sharing apps like Uber and Elevator to fill the void and charge more

NYC yellow cabs were hard to come by, leaving the door open for ride-sharing apps like Uber and Elevator to fill the void and charge more

The high prices are expected to last for about three months, when federal unemployment benefits expire and the city reopens, Matthew Daus – a former chairman of the Taxi and Limousine Commission – told the Post.

He said he expects a sharp drop in demand and “in the fall we will have ‘taximageddon’,” Daus said.

“I fear there will be loads of vehicles on the streets looking for work and there won’t be enough work until at least the holidays.”

DailyMail.com contacted the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, a union representing 21,000 drivers, and Uber.

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