Taxis are back in vogue as Uber and Lyft shortage continues.

Jun 13, 2021

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Have you tried getting a Lyft lately?

Chances are you may have had a hard time of it.

As surging prices and a nationwide shortage of drivers has led to difficulties getting rides with ride-hail services like Uber and Lyft, the good old classic cab is coming back into favor. And nowhere is that more obvious than New York.

The number of daily taxi rides surged 800% year-over-year in April, Bloomberg reported. While a surge is to be expected as more people became vaccinated and the city began to reopen, it’s notable that the surge was much smaller for app-based platforms — just 220%, according to New York’s Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC).

For taxi drivers, this has been a boon. Drivers see “15-22 rides a shift,” a TLC commissioner told the New York Times, compared to 11 rides a shift before the pandemic due to oversaturation.

Many Uber and Lyft drivers left during the pandemic, multiple outlets have reported, and declined to return yet due to low pay or safety concerns. Even as prices have gone up, driver pay has remained low, New York Magazine reported.

For taxi drivers, take-home pay remains coupled to passenger fares, which are based on time and distance. On the ride-hailing platforms, there’s a flat pay rate and occasional surge bonuses.

“The customer may be seeing this huge price but that doesn’t mean the driver is being compensated accordingly,” a former Uber engineer told the Washington Post.

More: How to get a free Uber ride to and from your vaccine appointments

For customers, especially as the world begins to reopen and travel begins to boom, this means a few things are important to keep in mind, regardless of where you are in the U.S.

Make sure to plan ahead and leave extra time when heading to the airport or to appointments. Consider using mass transit where possible. And of course, don’t forget about the good old taxi.

Featured image by Noam Galai/Getty Images

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