car driving in tunnel

Uber and Lyft Eye Post-Pandemic Recovery as Case Numbers Ease Up

Shadow of Pandemic Persists for Rideshare Companies

As it did for so many business sectors, the post COVID-19 recovery for ride-hailing apps hit the brakes as Omicron accelerated across the world. To that end, industry giant Lyft (LYFT) reported weaker-than-expected revenue forecasts for the first quarter. Executives cited Omicron’s enduring impact, saying it could continue through the year’s midway point.

With that said, Lyft also reported more rides were booked during the last week of January. Fellow ride-sharing titan Uber (UBER) also said total bookings are on the rebound following a late December slowdown. During the fourth quarter, Uber’s active customers grew by 8%, while Lyft’s total base shrank by around 1%.

Uber Rides Return, Food Delivery a Boost

Uber’s increased number of rides booked and robust demand for food delivery helped revenue climb by 83% during its most recent quarter. This beat analyst expectations and partially contributed to the stock’s rise in midweek trading. Despite more restaurants opening back up, Uber Eats bookings jumped by 34%.

The ride-hailing app’s bread and butter remains ride bookings, and those rose by 67% year-over-year in Q4 2021. At the quarter’s end, Uber reported 118 million active users — a company record. That compares to Lyft’s most recently reported 18.73 million active users.

Lyft’s Revenues Soar Despite Fewer Riders

Although its active user count fell short of analyst expectations, Lyft posted a 70% increase in revenue for its most recent quarter. Executives say higher fares and customers taking longer trips offset the dip in ridership. They also believe the company emerged from the pandemic in a stronger position.

The company has focused on cutting costs and sold off its self-driving unit last year to Toyota as it failed to turn a profit. Executives have also stood behind their more singular focus on transportation, as opposed to Uber’s more diversified approach that includes food delivery. Each ride-hailing app is seeing riders return more quickly than drivers, something that benefitted Lyft in Q4 2021 as it raised the prices of rides on average. Barring any other variants of COVID-19, the ride-hailing industry may well keep pace with the post-pandemic recovery going forward.

Things are changing daily within the financial world. Sign up for the SoFi Daily Newsletter to get the latest news updates in your inbox every weekday.

Sign up

Please understand that this information provided is general in nature and shouldn’t be construed as a recommendation or solicitation of any products offered by SoFi’s affiliates and subsidiaries. In addition, this information is by no means meant to provide investment or financial advice, nor is it intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision or recommendation to buy or sell any asset. Keep in mind that investing involves risk, and past performance of an asset never guarantees future results or returns. It’s important for investors to consider their specific financial needs, goals, and risk profile before making an investment decision.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. These links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement. No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this content.
Communication of SoFi Wealth LLC an SEC Registered Investment Adviser
SoFi isn’t recommending and is not affiliated with the brands or companies displayed. Brands displayed neither endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks and service marks referenced are property of their respective owners.

All your finances.
All in one app.

SoFi QR code, Download now, scan this with your phone’s camera

All your finances.
All in one app.

App Store rating

SoFi iOS App, Download on the App Store SoFi Android App, Get it on Google Play

ABOUT Meg Richardson Meg Richardson is a writer specializing in markets, technology, and personal finance. She loves breaking down seemingly complex ideas and making them readable and interesting for everyone. She holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University. When she is not writing about finance, she enjoys running in Central Park and drawing cartoons.

TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender