Over the past few months, users of ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft are facing fare prices exponentially higher than usual. Some say wait times are also much longer. And, perhaps most inconveniently, many are unable to find a ride whatsoever.

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The combined issues are causing users to miss flights, cancel plans and find alternatives to the popular apps they have relied on for years. Chris Gerace, a contributor at TheRideshareGuy.com, says a number of factors are responsible for the problems — but the gist of it is a supply-and-demand issue.

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“As things are reopening, demand is going up for rides,” Gerace said. But despite offering financial incentives, Uber and Lyft have struggled to find more drivers to meet that skyrocketing need.

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According to Joseph M. Rubino, a transit consultant who works with both the public and private sectors, that problem probably will not be resolved any time soon: Until the companies start treating drivers better, he said, they will have difficulty recruiting and retaining enough talent.


“The service provided to the public is beautiful,” Rubino said. “The service for drivers is horrible.”

So, without Uber and Lyft, what are travelers to do?

At home, you may be able to wrangle a friend or family member to pick you up, but it’s a different story on the road. Here are five ways to get around if Uber and Lyft leave you stranded.

Hire a traditional taxi in advance

Rubino says travelers should go back to the original ride-hailing service: taxis. He believes they’re a safer option than Uber or Lyft, thanks to stricter regulations and background checks, and more reliable than drivers on the app.

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Call local taxi or car-service companies in the places you are visiting to arrange important trips, such as your ride back to the airport or before your timed ticket reservation to a museum you don’t want to miss. Rubino also recommends grabbing the business card of your taxi driver so that you can call to hire them directly the next time you’re in need of a ride.

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Get experimental with your rental

As tough as it is to get around using ride-hailing apps, it has been just as competitive to get a rental car this year. After the pandemic tanked the rental-car demand, companies sold hundreds of thousands of their vehicles to get by. Now, travelers are finding it very difficult or very expensive to find a car to rent.

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Rather than the airport staples, try alternative car-rental services such as Zipcar, the peer-to-peer company Turo or Silvercar by Audi. If the place you are visiting is bikeable (such as Amsterdam, Munich or D.C.), consider renting a bike during your stay. Depending on your speed and where you are visiting, you may also be able to rent motorbikes (such as an electric moped from Revel) by the ride, day or week.

Plan a walkable trip

If going to a place where you will need to rely on rides sounds too stressful right now, pick a travel destination where you don’t have to drive the whole time. That could mean planning a trip to a beach house where a grocery store is within walking distance, or a visit to a city where you can stay in the heart of things — and access an airport shuttle to get home, should that be necessary.

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Check out the Google Maps walking directions for points of interest around places you are considering visiting, or pop the address or neighborhood of your desired accommodation into Walk Score, which can show you whether it’s designed for walkable (and transit-friendly) living.

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Take public transportation (if it’s an option)

Before you plan on relying on public transportation to get around while you travel, make sure you do your homework. In some places, such as San Francisco or New York, taking public transportation is a no-brainer. But if you’re traveling to a smaller town, a rural destination or a bigger city designed with car culture in mind, public transportation may not be viable.

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Note, too, that while a place may have a public transportation system, whether it is actually useful for travelers is another story.

Look for smaller ride-hailing companies

Some scorned Uber customers are turning to similar, often regional services. In Dallas, Allan Koenig, who works in corporate communications, had become increasingly frustrated with Uber’s quality and reliability years ago. “There came a point when [rides] simply never came,” Koenig said.


He started using Alto, a ride-hailing app available in Dallas, Houston and Los Angeles. The service offers customers rides from vetted, uniform-wearing employees who pick up passengers in a car from their fleet of branded SUVs. Most importantly, “they always show up,” Koenig said.

Look for smaller ride-hailing apps where you’re traveling to for options that may not be available in your city but that can get you around where you’re visiting. The app Migo can help you find and compare services.

Original Article