Are taxis the new rideshare? Frustrated Bay Area residents turning to taxi cabs amid price surge

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Taxi drivers say they are enjoying a surge in business as surge pricing on Lyft and Uber drives customers to look elsewhere for a ride.

"In one word, it is just wonderful. These drivers have been hit hard over the past year," said Hansu Kim, president of Flywheel Technologies, a taxi ride app.

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"We are seeing a record number of downloads these past few weeks. Mainly because Uber and Lyft have been surge pricing their rides, which has alienated their customers," Kim said.

One reason for the price increases and longer wait times is a driver shortage, as many left the ride shares to find new work during the pandemic and have yet to return.

Lyft released this statement to ABC7 News:

"Earlier this spring, as vaccines rolled out and people started moving again, we began to see the demand for rides outpace the number of available drivers. We've added thousands of drivers in the past few weeks and it's already leading to a better rider experience with wait times down more than 15% nationwide."

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Adrianne Smith of Oakland tells us she has experienced the price increase.

"Oh I have noticed. Sometimes going five to 10 miles is $60 on Uber. And it makes no sense. It is hit or miss. Wednesday afternoon or Friday night, you just have to look."

Luckily for Lyft and Uber, some haven't ventured out yet.

"I have not taken a Lyft since the pandemic, so I have no idea of the prices," said Joci Kelleher of San Francisco.

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