Rideshare app prices spike in NYC with less than half the number of taxis available as pre-pandemic


Man’s 20-minute Uber trip from Midtown New York to JFK costs $248 – almost the same as his cross-country flight to San Francisco – as ridesharing apps surge prices after number of yellow cabs in the city HALVES during pandemic

  •  Sunny Madra, a Ford executive, discussed his expensive 20-mile trip from midtown Manhattan to JFK Airport on May 26 
  • After not finding a yellow cab, he paid $248.90 for an Uber and $262.40 for a cross-country plane ticket to San Francisco 
  • That trip would’ve cost about $52 in the NYC cab, according to the TLC 
  • There were 4,900 yellow cabs in NYC in April, which is not even half the 11,400 cabs that were available in February 2020 before lockdowns, according to TLC 
  • Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft are filling the void and increasing the prices 
  • Uber is spending $250 million on temporary bonuses to get more drivers on the road, spokesman Harry Hartfield told The New York Post
  • A spokesperson for Lyft told The New York Post that the company has also seen ‘big increases’ in demand 

Sunny Madra, a Ford executive, tweeted about his costly May 26 Uber trip from midtown Manhattan to the JFK Airport

Sunny Madra, a Ford executive, tweeted about his costly May 26 Uber trip from midtown Manhattan to the JFK Airport

A man has told how his 20-minute Uber ride from Midtown New York to JFK Airport cost him $248.90 – just $13.50 less than his cross-country flight to San Francisco – as NYC yellow cab shortages lead to surging prices on ridesharing apps. 

Sunny Madra, a Ford executive, tweeted about his May 26 morning adventure to the airport after he couldn’t find a yellow NYC cab for 20 minutes.

A yellow cab would have cost about $52, according to the Taxi and Limousine Commission – but instead he paid nearly five times that. Meanwhile his plane ticket from New York City to San Francisco cost him $262.40, he tweeted. 

The surging prices on ridesharing apps come as the number of yellow cabs in the city plummets following the pandemic. 

‘With the city’s economy bouncing back, and vaccination rates increasing, drivers are returning to Uber in force to take advantage of higher earnings opportunities from our driver stimulus while they are still available,’ Uber spokesperson Harry Hartfield told DailyMail.com

New York City has lost more than than half of its yellow taxi cabs in the last year, from about 11,400 cabs in February 2020 to 4,900 in April 2021, The New York Post reported.

And the problem is set to get much worse as more tourist attractions reopen this summer. 

 ‘The summer could be really crazy,’ Bruce Schaller, a transportation expert and former city transit official, told the Post.

Drivers who left because of the pandemic have been reluctant to come back because they found work elsewhere or continue to collect unemployment.

One Queens dispatcher told the Post that only around 50% of their drivers are on the road, and blamed a $300-a-week federal boost to unemployment benefits for keeping drivers off work. 

‘Receiving unemployment has certainly diminished their desire to return,’ he said. 

And companies like Uber and Lyft are filling the void but charging astronomical prices that desperate riders are willing to pay to get to their destinations on time. 

Uber said it is spending $250 million on temporary bonuses to get more drivers on the road, with New York drivers currently making about $38 per hour plus tips.

Jonathan Vega, a 30-year-old Uber driver from Queens, told The New York Post that he’s bringing in as much as $40 per hour, compared with $25 an hour earlier this year.

A spokesperson for Lyft told The New York Post that the company has also seen ‘big increases’ in demand but would not provide more information about prices or driver pay.  

Uber is spending $250 million on temporary bonuses to get more drivers on the road, spokesman Harry Hartfield told The New York Post

Yellow NYC taxi cabs have been hard to find, leaving the door open for ridesharing apps like Uber and Lift to fill the void and charge more money

Yellow NYC taxi cabs have been hard to find, leaving the door open for ridesharing apps like Uber and Lift to fill the void and charge more money

Yellow NYC taxi cabs have been hard to find, leaving the door open for ridesharing apps like Uber and Lift to fill the void and charge more money

The lofty prices are predicted to continue for about three months, when federal unemployment benefits expire and the city reopens, Matthew Daus – a former Taxi and Limousine Commission chairman – told the Post. 

He said he expects a sharp decline in demand and ‘we’re going to have ‘taximageddon in the fall,’ Daus said. 

‘I fear that there’s going to be a ton of vehicles in the streets searching for work and there’s not going to be enough work until the holidays at least.’

DailyMail.com reached out to the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, a union that represents 21,000 drivers, and Uber. 

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