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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It's not just you: Uber and Lyft rides are more expensive, company executives said this week.

Why it matters: Demand for rideshare is roaring back as the economy starts to reopen, but the same can't be said for drivers on the apps. That means fewer cars on the road, causing a supply gap that's pushing up prices.

What's going on: Lyft says stronger rider demand began to outpace driver supply at the end of February.

  • One reason for the driver deficit: safety concerns and fear of contracting the virus, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told CNBC on Thursday.

What they're saying: "We've told our investors we are going to lean into driver supply. We are going to put up our capital to bring more drivers into the system" to alleviate pricing pressure, Khosrowshahi said.

  • Uber last month announced a one-time stimulus payment cumulatively worth $250 million to help lure drivers back.
  • "As the vaccine rollout continues, driver availability should naturally improve," Lyft CEO John Zimmer said on a call with Wall Street analysts, though it expects to invest in incentives to help move the ball along.

The dynamic has led to record earnings for Lyft drivers in some U.S. cities, the company says.

  • Lyft drivers in top markets earned on average more than $30 per hour, 85% above pre-pandemic times. The company hopes this will help pull even more drivers onto the platform.

The bottom line: Add rideshares to the list of things that cost more — at least in the short-term, as the economy revs all the way back up and the vaccination campaign picks up pace.

Go deeper: Why it feels impossible to get an Uber in Des Moines

Go deeper

Robinhood's IPO came amid a regulatory storm

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Robinhood, best known for its popular no-fee stock trading app, went public last Thursday while facing an unusually large legal and regulatory storm.

Why it matters: While some challenges will likely resolve, others could seriously maim the company, forcing it to right its business ship under the scrutiny and pressures of the public markets.

45 million Americans under winter storm watches near New England

Computer model projection showing the winds moving around the powerful East Coast storm on Saturday Jan. 29, 2022. Image: https://earth.nullschool.net

Nearly 45 million Americans are under winter weather alerts and warnings from North Carolina to northeastern Maine Thursday night, as a major winter storm threatens the region.

Why it matters: It is predicted to be the biggest blizzard since 2018 to strike the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow possible in parts of eastern Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.

Judge nixes Gulf of Mexico oil leases in climate-focused ruling

Tug boats prepare to tow the semi-submersible drilling platform Noble Danny Adkins through the Port Aransas Channel into the Gulf of Mexico on December 12, 2020 in Port Aransas, Texas. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday canceled the Biden administration's late 2021 sale of new oil-and-gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Why it matters: The ruling that the greenhouse gas emissions analysis by the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) was insufficient is a win for green groups that challenged the decision, as they seek to curb fossil fuel production.