Ride-Hailing Companies Have Yet to Recover

While public transit tends to make the most headlines for coronavirus-damaged ridership numbers, ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft aren't exactly raking in new customers.

1 minute read

August 11, 2020, 6:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Coronavirus and Transportation

ALINEROSA / Shutterstock

"Analysts say that the ride-hail industry may take months or even years to start to recover, but companies already are seeing ridership vary according to what cities are reopening, recovering or reimposing restrictions," reports Faiz Siddiqui.

The differences in ridership between cities is immense. According to an expert cited in the article, it's like a "tale of 10,000 cities."

"Markets such as Hong Kong and New Zealand, which were hailed as early success stories in fighting the pandemic, exceeded their pre-pandemic ridership," according to Siddiqui's summary of Uber's ridership numbers. "But U.S. ridership has continued to suffer. Uber said gross bookings on rides were down 75 percent in the three months through June."

"Lyft, the other major U.S. ride-hail service, declined to comment on the impact of the pandemic on its business, citing the release of its quarterly earnings report this week. The company has previously said its April ridership was down 75 percent from April 2019," adds Siddiqui.

According to the article, recovery is underway in New York City, but lagging in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The common thread among the disparate ridership reports: where cases are still up and restrictions are still in place, ride-hailing ridership is still down—way down.

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