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Buckle up, UBER and Lyft are paying the big bucks

Published: Jun. 2, 2021 at 6:13 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - It’s no longer necessary to physically hail cabs or drivers as the digital world continues to make our lives a just little more convenient.

Rideshare applications offer drivers a chance for some extra cash and the ease of getting from point A to B with a few quick thumb strokes.

Rideshare Driver, Laurie Schlecht, has been a driver for three years.

“I want to be able to make a few extra dollars, but also offer the service to the community,” says Schlecht.

The pandemic put global travel at a near standstill, and there weren’t as many rideshare drivers offering up their services. The world is becoming more available as the corona virus becomes less threatening. The lack of drivers through the pandemic had caused problems as more sought after travel.

“We didn’t have like a ton of drivers available. We had a couple weeks, where locally, the bars were closed down in Rapid City. That is a fair chunk of our passengers,” says Schlecht. “People trying to get safe rides leaving from the bar.”

Uber reported its highest bookings ever in March, but the shortage of drivers, more than half of Uber drivers stopped driving during the pandemic, led to higher wait times and higher prices. Though, the drivers that have been available are busy, the rideshare companies have attempted to combat the wait times by enticing potential drivers.

“Lyft actually offered some pretty big bonus for drivers that are new to driving in the Rapid City area, or former drivers who weren’t driving anymore,” says Schlecht.

It worked. People started buckling up and putting the pedal to the metal for the big bucks. On May 5, UBER reported that some drivers in US cities were making more than 40 dollars an hour. However, the more drivers, the less available rides for drivers.

“During the pandemic, we didn’t have that many drivers driving either. So, when you offer these huge bonuses it creates a lot of drivers. That’s where you won’t get as many ride requests,” says Schlecht.

More than 100 thousand drivers have returned to the platform over the last month.

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