Uber says demand for rides is recovering faster than driver availability

Julia La Roche
·Correspondent
·2-min read

Uber Technologies, the ride-hailing and food delivery service, said it’s seeing more riders requesting trips than it has available drivers, and demand for delivery is also outstripping availability. 

“As vaccination rates increase in the United States, we are observing that consumer demand for Mobility is recovering faster than driver availability, and consumer demand for Delivery continues to exceed courier availability,” Uber said in an 8-K filing.

Last week, Uber launched a $250 million “driver stimulus” to “boost” earnings for its current drivers and to bring back drivers and attract new ones. During the COVID-19 lockdowns, Uber said many of its drivers stopped driving because of the decrease in demand for trips. 

“We want drivers to take advantage of higher earnings now because this is likely a temporary situation. As the recovery continues, we expect more drivers will be hitting the road, which means that over time earnings will come back to pre-Covid levels,” the company said last week.

Travelers, Kerri Ann Salomon, left, and a friend arriving from New York City, look for an Uber ride at Los Angeles International Airport's LAX-it pick up terminal Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020. An appeals court has allowed ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft to continue treating their drivers as independent contractors in California while an appeal works its way through the court. Both companies had threatened to shut down if a ruling went into effect Friday morning that would have forced them to treat all their drivers as employees, a change they said would be impossible to accomplish overnight. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Travelers, Kerri Ann Salomon, left, and a friend arriving from New York City, look for an Uber ride at Los Angeles International Airport's LAX-it pick up terminal Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

In Monday's filing, Uber said its total gross booking reached the highest level in the company's history during the month of March. Uber's mobility business had its best month since March 2020, passing the $30 billion annualized gross bookings run-rate. The company added that its average daily gross bookings for mobility were up 9% month-over-month. Meanwhile, Uber's delivery business hit a new record in March, crossing $52 billion in annualized gross booking run rate. The delivery business has grown 150% year-over-year, the filing states.

Uber said it continues to believe it's “on track to reach quarterly Adjusted EBITDA profitability in 2021.” The company is slated to report its first-quarter earnings results on May 5 after the closing bell.

Shares of Uber (UBER) were last trading up more than 3% near $59.42 in the pre-market.

Julia La Roche is a correspondent for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.

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