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Lyft Sees Driver Shortage Ease, Airport Rides Up in Q2

A few months after a shortage of drivers spurred ride-hailing companies to invest in measures to quickly increase driver supply, the crunch has begun to ease, Lyft executives said Tuesday during the company’s quarterly earnings call. Meanwhile, one business travel indicator showed apparent growth in the quarter.

“The one use case that really stood out in Q2 was airport rides,” said Lyft CFO Brian Roberts when asked about business travel. “While historically it includes personal and consumer as well as corporate travel in it, in terms of the overall impact to the results, we did see strengthening in airport rides. 

“In June, airport rides as a total of rides reached 8.3 percent, which is up 5 times from the 1.6 percent at the bottom of April 2020 and approaching 9.5 percent we had in December 2019,” Roberts continued. Lyft expects business travel to accelerate in the months ahead as more travelers return to the office.

When asked about the ongoing driver shortage, Roberts said Lyft’s second-quarter  its driver growth was more than 50 percent quarter over quarter, while the average number of rides per driver “was more than 20 percent greater than in Q2 2019.” 

Lyft saw a 11 percent month over month rise in new driver activations in the month of July, according to Roberts. The company expects its prices to decline as more drivers return to its platform in the third quarter, especially after the federal government sunsets unemployment benefits in September. Driver retention has been “phenomenal,” according Roberts.

Lyft reported second-quarter revenue of $765 million, up from $339.3 million in the second quarter of 2020 and up from the $609 million in the first quarter of 2021.

Lyft’s net loss amounted to $251.9 million versus a net loss of $437.1 million in the same period of 2020. Lyft’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were $23.8 million, versus a loss of $280.3 million in the second quarter of 2020. 

The second-quarter number of active riders rose 97 percent year over year to 17.1 million. Revenue per active rider was $44.63, a 14.3 percent year-over-year increase.

RELATED: Lyft Q1 Earnings

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