In this article, we draw on in-depth qualitative data from interviews with riders, carried out at different stages of the pandemic, to show how the composition of labour within the sector has been reworked by a series of ‘selective exits’ and ‘substitution effects’ over the past two years. In exploring the nature and nuances of these parallel movements, our analysis not only reveals considerable socio-economic unevenness within the city’s motorcycle taxi sector itself but also sheds light on a new, broader configuration of urban inequality in the making.