Drivers are returning to Uber Technologies Inc.

and Lyft Inc.

after the companies spent big on incentives to address a pandemic-driven labor shortage. That shift isn’t bringing down fares from record highs, new data show.

The average Uber and Lyft fare in the U.S. rose month-to-month from February through July, touching new highs every time, according to data from Rakuten Intelligence, a market-research firm that based its analysis on e-receipts from more than one million consumers. While the average fare in July edged up slightly from June, it meant consumers paid over 50% more for a ride last month compared with January 2020, before the pandemic.

That’s the most Americans have paid for Uber and Lyft rides in at least three years, according to Rakuten.

The sky-high prices, which the companies say are driven by the continuing labor shortage, come despite a recent influx of drivers. Uber said Wednesday that 30% more drivers signed up in July compared with the month before. Lyft said Tuesday that 50% more drivers signed up in the three-month period that ended in June compared with the preceding three months.

An expanded version of this story appears on

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