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Eastern Iowans upset over lack of ride sharing options

Published: Dec. 31, 2021 at 10:28 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -People looking to celebrate the New Year responsibly, may find it harder to get a ride-share, like Uber or Lyft for a ride home.

Iowa State Professor Joydeep Bhattacharya says this is part of “The Great Resignation,” where millions of people are leaving jobs for other jobs.

“More than 20,000 Uber workers have stopped working in the uber-ridesharing industry,” he said. He says workers are tired of the conditions, and the low pay, but also some got a financial cushion through pandemic relief, and didn’t need a side hustle anymore.

“It’s a tight labor market right now,” says Bhattacharya. “And people don’t really want to come back to work until they’ve exhausted their savings.”

Megan Evans owns four bars across Eastern Iowa. She has plenty of customers, and will call them an Uber or Lyft to get them home safely. She says it can take hours for her to find one. “Like finding a needle in a haystack,” she said.

That’s slowing her business “That late night crowd just isn’t there because there’s not enough Uber, Lyft, cab,” she said. “It’s not attainable for anyone.”

The lack of ride sharing has Evans worried about the turnout at her bars for New Year’s Eve. “Restaurants and bars are the ones paying the price,” she said. “Because people aren’t coming out as much.”

As spokesperson for Lyft sent TV-9 the following statement: “As vaccines rolled out and people started moving again, we began to see the demand for rides outpace the number of available drivers. We’ve added thousands of drivers to the platform and expect rider wait times and prices to improve moving forward. For drivers, it continues to be a great time to drive with drivers in top markets earning significantly more than they were pre-pandemic.”

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