The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

I Can No Longer Rely On Uber

Uber is no longer a viable product for me.


Prior to the pandemic, I more-or-less stopped driving, and relied entirely on Uber. I would Uber to and from work. I would Uber to and from the airport. When I was visiting a mid-size or large city, I would not rent a car, but instead use Uber. I spent an obscene amount of money on Uber every month, but deemed the expenditure worthwhile. I was able to recover hours each week that I could use to work.

During the pandemic, my Uber usage sharply crashed to zero. I still used Uber Eats for food delivery, so I was actually able to maintain my Diamond status. But I didn't set foot in a rideshare vehicle until the Summer of 2021. Still, my usage was light because I didn't really have anywhere to go.

More recently, I've re-emerged into a post-pandemic world. Yet, I've found Uber increasingly unreliable. Consistently, I am not able to find rides, and when I can, the fares are surged. For example, in the past, I would spend about $35 for a trip to the airport during rush hour, and would wait about 5 minutes. This morning, Uber told me the fare to the airport would be about $150! And there was an estimated wait time of 17 minutes! Who knows if a driver would ever show up. I decided to drive myself to the airport. A few weeks ago I was in Dallas. I had easily secured an Uber from DFW to my hotel around 10:00 p.m. But the following morning, I needed an Uber to take me about 3 miles to a restaurant for breakfast. The fare was about $80, and it took nearly 15 minutes to get a ride!

Uber is no longer a viable product for me. I cannot rely on it. Perhaps the Uber business model was never sustainable. Maybe the pandemic, combined with spiking fuel prices, accelerated the demise of rideshare. Who knows. But going forward, I will go back to driving myself and renting cars.