Uber this morning said that the number of rides booked by UK users has now returned to pre-pandemic levels.
The ride-hailing app said that the loosening of restrictions on hospitality venues had been the main driving force behind the return of demand.
Most of the trips currently being taken are in the evening, Uber added, as people head out to bars and restaurants with friends and relatives.
But it also said that the number of trips taken in commuting hours – between 5am and 9am – had now returned to 2019 levels.
With some people still reticent to take public transport due to the pandemic, Uber said that it was aiming to hire an additional 20,000 drivers in the UK.
That would take its total number of drivers to 90,000. After a historic Supreme Court judgement earlier this year, Uber now classes its drivers as workers, which entitles them to rights such as the national living wage and paid annual leave.
Ash Kebriti, Uber’s UK General Manager, said: “Following the swift rollout of vaccines in the UK, people are travelling on the Uber platform just as much as they were before the pandemic.
“We are now looking to sign up 20,000 new drivers across the UK, as cities continue to recover.”
In a sign of the disproportionate recovery thus far, the number of people using Transport for London’s services, although increasing slowly, is still at just over a third of pre-pandemic levels.
On 28 May, there were 1.88m Tube journeys made. On average, before the pandemic began, there were around 4m trips made a day.