Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi said Tuesday afternoon that while passenger supply is improving as more people get vaccinated against the coronavirus, there is still plenty of room for improvement as demand for rides outstrips supply.
“ETA is higher than we would like, and price increases have increased because we’re not seeing drive supply keeping pace with U.S. demand growth,” Khosrowshahi told the J.P. Morgan technology, Media and Communications Conference.
“The supply position is something we’re still working on. It’s definitely going to get better, but we’re not happy with the ETA and price levels we’re seeing, and that’s where we’ll be investing in improvements,” he added.
As Americans get vaccinated and governments ease restrictions on the pandemic, people are getting ready to travel, get out of their homes, and turn to ride-sharing services. However, Uber and Lyft are still grappling with the slow return of drivers. If companies can’t attract enough drivers to meet demand, they could leave disgruntled customers who have to spend more and wait longer.
Uber said last month it would spend $250 million in a one-time stimulus package aimed at getting drivers back on the road. On the first-quarter earnings call earlier this month, Khosrowshahi said they would “continue to attract new and existing drivers with targeted incentives.”
Lyft also said earlier this month that it would use the cut in price increases to fund investments to lure more riders back. Regarding more incentives, Lyft President John Zimmer said at the same meeting Monday afternoon that the company will “handle it wisely.”
“We are very confident and have seen significant progress,” Zimmer said.
Both Uber and Lyft said this month that they expect supply and demand issues to weigh on business in the second quarter and rebound in the third.
“We are confident in our ability to implement,” Khosrowshahi said.