Several people in the U.K. are vocal about their experience with taxi apps such as Uber Inc. (NYSE: UBER) and Bolt Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ: BOLT). A section of users told CNBC that the apps did not connect them to a chauffeur. As a result, they were late for a meeting or left stranded. Another section of users laments that they were charged an enormous sum for the ride. A spike in price occurs when apps are busy, particularly during the weekend or late in the evening. Users in the U.K. believe that taxi apps are taking them for a ride.
Demand supply mismatch causes a spike in cost
In a scenario where there are not enough chauffeurs to accept the rides, the cost for the ride spikes. In an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box Europe, Markus Villig, co-founder and CEO of mobility app Bolt, said:
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“The supply side in terms of drivers … just haven’t been able to catch up yet.”
Echoing his views is Uber. A spokesperson for Uber’s U.K. business said:
“We are encouraging 20,000 new drivers to sign up in order to meet rider demand as cities get moving again.”
Getting a ride is either difficult or impossible
Several users have either had to wait for a long time to get a ride or experience cancellation of their ride. Based out of London, Dave Thomson, chief product officer at video conferencing platform Whereby, in an interview with CNBC, said:
″[We] open all three apps at the same time and see who can get a cab first. The level of admin involved in leaving the house is growing.”
Chauffeurs have taken a u-turn
Chauffeurs have moved to the grass, which is greener on the other side. During the pandemic, they took up jobs that gave them financial security along with professional and benefits. Meanwhile, a section of chauffeurs has realized that their vehicles could also transport food instead of people. Ride hailing expert Harry Campbell said to CNBC:
“Many ride-hail drivers have switched over to delivery during the pandemic and have found that pay is comparable, and they don’t have to deal with people.”
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