Uber usually arrives pretty fast after we press the button… but that’s no longer the case in London, as the UK is currently facing a driver shortage.
I had a looong waiting line there… How come?!
Uber’s chief executive Dara also wants to know the answer. He just flew to London this week to investigate this and hopes to find a solution ahead of the peak Christmas season. 🎄
Let’s take a look at the reasons first:
Many choose to take a Uber 🚘 What do people do when lockdowns end? Celebrate! Many started to go out to meet friends again but avoided public transport due to Covid risks.
- While Uber demand normally rises 10% every year, it has gone up 20% this year in London…, and 40% in some other cities, like Birmingham and Manchester.
But there aren’t enough drivers! Many drivers have been kept out of the UK due to Brexit and Covid restrictions, and some of them haven’t come back even after restrictions were lifted.
- Some drivers shifted to Uber’s competitors… simply because they paid more.
- Uber estimates that it would need 20,000 extra drivers to make its service back to normal in the UK.
So… what’s the solution?
① Pay drivers more to lure them back. Uber has pledged to raise drivers’ pay by 10%.
- For customers, it means a 10% hike in our fare for city trips and 25% for airport trips in the UK – passing the cost to customers as always.
② A referral bonus. If drivers get their friends to sign up as drivers too, they get a bonus. GBP 500 for each referral… sounds a nice deal.
We’re profitable, at least 📈 Despite its trouble in London, Uber did post its first-ever profitable quarter, where it said drivers were “steadily returning”. Maybe just a matter of time?