LAS VEGAS (FOX5) – An Uber representative on Wednesday said due to a driver shortage, only about half of the rides requested on the platform right now in the Las Vegas area are being completed, but they are working hard to change that and say they need Governor Steve Sisolak to help.
“Right now, Las Vegas is one of the worst, if not the worst, market in the country in the terms of the rider experience,” said Javi Correoso, a spokesperson for Uber. He said the rideshare company is experiencing a driver shortage nationwide, but it’s worse in Las Vegas.
“Only about 30% of drivers who were driving in February 2020 have returned,” Correoso said.
While supply of drivers is low, the demand for rides is high and continues to get higher, not yet at pre-pandemic levels, but certainly will be soon.
“We are starting to get close,” Correoso said.
To address the driver shortage nationally, Uber launched its own stimulus last week: $250 million for drivers. The company hopes driving up hourly earnings will keep current drivers, bring back old ones and attract new ones.
“In Las Vegas specifically, what that means for drivers as part of this incentive package we are offering hourly earnings of $29.90,” Correoso said.
Uber contends Las Vegas drivers are not coming back like in other cities because of local regulations. Sisolak issued an emergency order pausing surge pricing at the beginning of the pandemic that remains in place as Nevada continues to reopen.
“Drivers know that when there is a lot of demand, they are going to see higher earnings and by not having that mechanism in place due to local regulations a lot of drivers quite frankly are choosing to stay at home,” Correoso said.
Uber says they’ve reached out to Nevada Transportation Authority and Sisolak to address the pricing issues and are hoping there will soon be a change.
“If we can’t rely on the same tools that we can rely on in other parts of the country to get drivers back … it is going to continue to be a poor experience for riders,” Correoso said.
FOX5 also reached out to Lyft about what they are doing to try and attract more drivers and have not heard back, though according to a message on their platform when you can’t get a ride, they are “working on getting more” drivers on the road. FOX5 also reached out the Nevada Transportation Authority and Sisolak’s office, asking as we continue to reopen when the emergency surge pricing pause may be lifted, and have yet to hear back.