A new excuse for not coming to the office is making the rounds in the Big Apple: the price of an Uber.
While New York City employees have grappled with the dangers of taking the subway to work for more than a year, a growing contingent increasingly settled on using ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft. Yes, sources told On The Money.
A commuter working at a Manhattan public relations firm — who asked that her name not be used for fear of getting into trouble — said she comes to work twice a week and has told her boss that she can spend more than that. can’t
“It used to cost $10 to reach my office. Now it costs $35,” said the source. “I can’t do that every day.”
Workers say they have gotten excited over the issue since last month, when a Goldman Sachs employee was shot dead by a rabid gunman in Brooklyn. The incident came just days after Mayor Eric Adams urged CEOs such as JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon and Goldman Sachs’s David Solomon to work on the subway to restart the city’s economy.
It also came just weeks after Goldman slashed pandemic-era perks that included free Uber to and from headquarters in Lower Manhattan. Still, many executives see it as just another excuse employees are using to keep pandemic-era remote work privileges.
“The hierarchy of excuses is endless. First it was COVID, then it was Subway crime and now it’s high Uber prices,” a senior executive at the Manhattan-based tech company told On The Money.
“Last time I checked we still have buses, yellow taxis and city bikes. What will happen next? Blaming long lines for office buildings not coming to Starbucks?”
Other companies — especially those that are well capitalized — are sympathetic to the plight of rank and file.
“We’re trying to find solutions so that people feel comfortable coming into the office,” a worker at a major hedge fund in Manhattan told On The Money. The source added that the company allows employees who do not feel comfortable taking the metro to afford car services.
Another employee of an education company said that if Ubers were cheaper, she would travel from Queens to her Manhattan office more often. In a pinch, she says she would generally choose the subway over a car service, even if she felt “insecure” on public transportation.
“It’s too dangerous to take the subway but it’s too expensive for Uber,” she said. “When I’m running late I resolve to miss half the meeting because it’s not worth the $65 to Uber.”
Still, some remote workers admit that citing the cost of an Uber as a reason to stay at home seems a bit diluted.
“I think people will make up any excuse not to go back to the office,” a millennial who lives in Brooklyn and works at a healthcare startup told On The Money. “But I think in general, people don’t want to come anymore … certainly with the recent shootings and stabbings.”