The most obvious way for Uber and Lyft to change the conversation following their gloomy IPOs was to raise prices and improve their financials. That appears to have happened. At Lyft, prices rose by about 8% in more than 100 U.S. markets in recent weeks, according to two people briefed on the matter.
The shift was not expected to boost driver pay, which is calculated separately from what riders pay, one of these people said. And the price hike appears to be separate from Lyft’s reduction of financial incentives for riders that it previously discussed publicly.
Uber executives were aware of the move by Lyft and expected to respond by also raising prices, according to an Uber employee, though it is unclear if they have taken any direct action.
Today a Needham & Co. analyst said in a note to clients that the research firm had seen Uber raise prices in some markets, according to Bloomberg, though it is unclear what market data the analyst viewed. There’s other evidence that in recent months Uber raised prices: the average price per transaction for Uber ride-hailing customers in the U.S. steadily rose by more than 10% during the past few months, according to data from Second Measure, which tracks credit card transactions. We’ll see next month whether the price hikes had a meaningful impact on the bottom line as pressure ramps up on the ride-hailing stocks.