Over the past couple of weeks, rideshare users around the country have reported surge pricing and difficulty securing drivers for their ride requests. At Roundtrip, we facilitate thousands of rideshare rides each week. We dug into our data to confirm and better understand the impacts of these challenges.
In 2020, the average rideshare fare per mile across all markets Roundtrip served was $2.01. Average fares per mile have continued to hover around there in the first quarter of 2021. In looking at last week’s data, we see a sharp increase to an average of $2.62 per mile – 30%+ over the historical baseline. We did further analysis to confirm there was no statistically significant change in average ride distance or ride volume that might contribute to this increase.
Some hypotheses around what factors might be contributing to this include:
- Extension of stimulus and unemployment benefits might contribute to a decrease in driver supply, as drivers are able to receive compensation without risking COVID exposure
- Phased reopening in many markets combined with stimulus checks might contribute to an increased demand for rideshare services
- Many rideshare drivers also participate in the delivery gig economy. As demand for these delivery services continues to increase, gig workers are able to earn similar wages with lower COVID risk by shifting their focus to delivery rather than rideshare
- Increasing gas prices reduce net earnings for rideshare drivers, and might contribute to a decrease in driver supply
One reason clients choose Roundtrip is for our ability to provide data-driven insights and expertise to help manage and optimize transportation programs. Many of our clients choose to include rideshare in their levels of service because rideshare is highly reliable and cost effective. In the past couple of weeks, we have seen rideshare costs exceeding the rates for traditional taxis in some markets, and we’ve observed that the number of rideshare rides that were unable to secure a driver have more than doubled.
With the data captured in Roundtrip, we are able to track rideshare availability and costs at the market, client, facility, and ZIP Code level. We use this data to help our clients order the best type of transportation to ensure reliable service at competitive prices.