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Morning Brief: Expensive Ubers, Humidity, And Drinking At Disneyland

The front passenger side of a black car with a white Uber sign hanging in it is shown.
An Uber car.
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Good morning, L.A. It’s July 15.

Since things opened up a month ago, many of us have been anxious to get back out into the world. For some, that means taking advantage of ride share apps such as Uber and Lyft.

But a lot of users are hit with an unpleasant surprise when they try to hail a car: long wait times, and sky-high rates. My colleague Ryan Fonseca reports that there’s a straightforward economic reason: high demand vs. low supply.

From March 2020 until recently, demand for ride shares plummeted. No one was going out, and if they were, it was unlikely they’d want to sit in an enclosed car with a stranger. That meant a lot of drivers had to find other work.

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"In 2020, many drivers stopped driving because they couldn’t count on getting enough trips to make it worth their time," wrote Dennis Cinelli, vice president of U.S. Mobility for Uber in a statement.

Now that riders are back, there simply isn’t the same supply of drivers there once was. And even with the vaccine, some drivers still fear for their health — and rightfully so; even fully vaccinated people can still contract the coronavirus.

A representative from Lyft said in an emailed statement that the company has hired “thousands of drivers in the past few weeks,” and claimed that wait times are “down more than 15% nationwide, and down 35% in some major markets.”

It’s good news for ride share users, but there’s still the high prices to contend with: The research firm Rakuten Intelligence found that the cost of a ride share was 37% higher in March than it was a year ago.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • It’s not your imagination; in the past few muggy days, the L.A. region has been very humid.
  • This year's Independence Day celebrations led to the worst air quality in the region since the Bobcat Fire last September.
  • A bill pending in the Legislature would require California’s public universities, community colleges and secondary schools to provide free menstrual products on campus.
  • Drug overdose deaths in America were up 30% last year, 46% in California.

Before You Go ... Here's What To Drink At Disneyland

Two hurricane glasses sit on a bar. One is filled with a creamy frozen orange substance, the other is filled with a slushy pink substance.
The Dole Whip with rum (left) and the Piranha Pool (right) at Tangaroa Terrace Tropical Bar and Grill at the Disneyland Hotel.
(Malinda Castaneda for LAist)

Between California Adventure, Downtown Disney and Disneyland itself, the house that Mickey built is now home to more than 30 bars, lounges and kiosks that serve alcohol. The best part is that you can visit many of these places without buying a ticket to the theme park.

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Boozy Dole Whips? Check. Baby Yoda cocktails? Double check. Volcanic tiki drinks? Check, check, check. If you can dream it, they're probably mixing it somewhere on the property.

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