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High Gas Prices Hit Local Rideshare Drivers Hard

TAMPA, Fla. — A local rideshare driver said gas prices have gotten so high that half of his profits are going into the tank and he’s being much more selective about which rides to accept.

“With Uber and Lyft, I’m stuck with what they pay,” said Jeremy Rodriguez, 39. “They’re not increasing the pay. So, I’m driving for them a whole lot less than normal. Normally, I would go out and work all day long.”


What You Need To Know

  • To mitigate the skyrocketing cost of fuel, some drivers are not accepting really long or short rides


  • Jeremy Rodriguez, a local driver, only works for rideshare companies when the prices are surging


  • Rodriguez wouldn’t mind paying higher gas prices if that cuts off Russian oil from the market

Rodriguez moved to Tampa from Ohio last October. The single parent of three kids does rideshare driving full time to care for his family. As gas prices continue to climb, Rodriguez said his family budget gets squeezed.

“It hurts. It takes away from us because I’m trying to pay for food,” he said. “Then the rents high over here too. So, it’s hard enough as it is.” 

On Monday, Rodriguez paid the highest price for gas so far at a St. Petersburg station. It was $4.19 for a gallon of regular unleaded.

“I’m afraid for it to go up to $5,” he said. “I do feel like the money is just coming out of my pocket because sitting in traffic is another thing with the gas prices. The longer you idle, the more gas you use.” ​

Rodriguez said to mitigate the skyrocketing cost of fuel, he’s not accepting really long or short rides. He also only works for rideshare companies when the prices are surging and he started his own business as a freelance driver.

“I’m going to keep driving. I’m still going to do Lyft and Uber during the incentive times but I’m going to keep it very limited,” he said. “For my business, I’m going to raise the prices.”​

Rodriguez said he wouldn’t mind paying even higher gas prices if that means cutting off Russian oil from the market and helping Ukraine.

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