Uber Is Doing So Well That It’s Running Out of Drivers

The company just had its busiest month ever, thanks to food delivery and the resurgence of ride-hailing

uber driver in silhouette; Uber is currently having a shortage of drivers
Record bookings at Uber come right after the company announced a shortage of drivers.
Viktor Bystrov / Unsplash

Apparently we’re not that scared of going out anymore. Uber just posted a record month in March, although not necessarily with everyday ride-hailing.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, the company received more bookings in March than in any single month since its start in 2009. While ride-hailing was back to March 2020 levels, it was the  food-delivery unit that doubled year-to-year and posted record monthly bookings.

According to Uber’s 8-K filing earlier this week, “Gross Bookings reached the highest monthly level in the company’s nearly 12-year history. The company’s Mobility business posted its best month since March 2020, crossing a $30 billion annualized Gross Bookings run-rate, with average daily Gross Bookings up 9% month-over-month. The company’s Delivery business set another all-time record, crossing a $52 billion annualized Gross Bookings run-rate in March, growing more than 150% year-over-year.”

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect business in another way: the company can’t get enough drivers. “In 2020, many drivers stopped driving because they couldn’t count on getting enough trips to make it worth their time,” notes a recent write-up on Uber’s corporate blog. “In 2021, there are more riders requesting trips than there are drivers available to give them—making it a great time to be a driver.”

To that end, Uber announced a $250 million investment to boost earnings and offer additional incentive and guarantees for both new and existing drivers.


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