The whole point of an Uber or a Lyft is convenience. The promise inherent in a ridesharing app is that someone can pick you up curbside in not much time at all, and then get you where you need to go. It saves you the trouble of triangulating public transit or owning a car yourself. These days, however, might have you wondering if these apps can deliver convenience at all anymore.
If you've found wait times for a rideshare to come pick you up expanding dramatically, you're not alone — it really is taking longer on average for that Lyft or Uber to arrive, nationwide. In short, we've got a driver shortage; with the end of COVID lockdowns almost within reach, more and more of us are venturing out into the world again. Yet over the past year, ridership overall has fallen so much that a significant number of drivers have dropped out of the fleet. We haven't made up the difference yet, but rideshare companies certainly are trying.
Both Uber and Lyft have announced millions in bonuses to try and lure drivers back to the fold. The companies claim drivers can earn north of $30 per hour in select locations, although that's far from standard. Riders also get something out of using rideshare services: feeling like they're directly helping gig economy workers, although that too is an oversimplification. Experts believe wait times should get shorter again once more drivers feel safe, likely with a more fully vaccinated population. Until then, you may just have to build in an extra few minutes to get where you need to go.