Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the typical Uber and Lyft driver was a younger, high-income, urban worker who used the hailstorm apps to go to the office, to the movies, or to a show, then go for a drink .
But with events, offices, bars, restaurants and more effective closings, the “loyal base” – as these drivers are called – has stayed away from the driving apps. While the apps are struggling to reach pre-pandemic levels almost a year later, a new group of drivers are on these platforms.
Lyft reported in its latest annual economic impact report that of the 14 percent of drivers who used Lyft more frequently during the COVID-19 pandemic, those women were more likely to be minority women in important jobs than those who no longer used Lyft used.
These drivers were also less likely to have college degrees and more likely to have lower incomes, according to the report. This group was a substantial worker nearly three times as likely. Lyft considers essential roles as firefighters, nurses, rescue workers, law enforcement officers, mail and delivery workers, grocers and pharmacists. This is personal work that Zoom cannot do.
During Uber’s recent call for profits, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi made a slang statement about “new customer acquisition”, why the number of drivers has not completely declined and will recover. This is because new drivers are using the app instead of other options like public transport or taxis. These new drivers are “more price-conscious” than the previous loyal base, he said. They are drivers who cannot work remotely like Uber’s usual customers.
ValuePenguin, a financial data company from Lending Tree, found in a review of 110,000 transactions that Americans were spending 69 percent less on auto services in 2020, compared to 2019. Here, too, the usual passengers did not use these platforms as before.
LRT can’t work from home because I’m seen as an “essential worker” but I literally just leave the house to work and learn to ride a bike so I can do that instead of taking the bus / Uber
– Rachel (@RBflatface) October 4, 2020
More to do with being late and having to use Lyft to get to work after my car dies. I worked as an Amazon shopper at Whole Foods, so also as a technically indispensable worker. Twitch tends to be unpredictable streaming, but at least it helps if you’re not on WiFi, but on a landline.
– “Mad Pagan, Mad Art” (@JBonnetteArt) January 10, 2021
Uber’s CEO has seen this pandemic-induced shift as a good thing even after the pandemic ends, as “we will have a number of new customers who have switched from other modes of transport and then have our loyal base.” also back. “
But Khosrowshahi is counting on workers who used to use public transport to continue to pay more for a private ride even after the threat to public health and safety has decreased.
Lyft and Uber prices are absurd right now! I didn’t order my Lyft right away and the price went up $ 5 in less than 30 seconds! I am an indispensable car-less worker who does not feel safe with the bus at the moment. Now there’s no reason it should cost $ 15 to work during a pandemic
– Dangli (@dummyydum) April 28, 2020
I’m an important worker with a broken truck and a job off the bus routes. Uber is ridiculous. Please help me ring the bell !!!!
– Wayward 🍋Lemon 🍋Grump🎃 Pumpkin Army 🎃 (@CrystalLimeLove) May 4, 2020
Both Lyft and Uber have put cheaper carpooling for the apps off to make journeys with fewer people in a small space safer during the health crisis. However, this means that many of these new drivers are being forced to pay more to ensure a safe journey to and from work.