Rideshare drivers consider career shift as gas prices soar across the Southland
LOS ANGELES - As gas prices continue to climb across the nation, local rideshare drivers like Jorge Hernandez are contemplating hanging up their keys.
"It’s super expensive. We can barely make enough money to pay the bills.," said Hernandez. "I’m thinking of doing something else. It’s getting tough."
Hernandez isn't alone.
"Our take has dropped and we’re paying outrageous gas prices. They’re not compensating us. We are working a lot more for a lot less," said Scott Trowbridge who has been a rideshare driver 5 over years.
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According to data from AAA, the Los Angeles County average price of unleaded regular gasoline has risen 34 times in 37 days, sitting at $5.65. The Orange County average price rose 8.8 cents to $5.51, it’s 29th record in 34 days.
"To fill up it used to be $50 to $60…now it’s $80 to $100. Even to work more hours, it doesn’t make any sense. It’s getting ridiculous really," said Uber driver Armando Ocampo.
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In a statement, Uber said "We know higher prices can be a challenge, which is why we recently launched a new feature that helps drivers save up to $.25 per gallon through cash back with GetUpside. Our platform only works if it works for drivers, so we’ll continue to monitor prices and listen to drivers over the coming weeks."
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Some drivers say it’s not enough to offset the daily price hikes.
"It doesn’t cover our expenses. If prices keep going up…in a couple of days, I can’t work anymore," said Lyft driver Bagdasar Akopyan.
Thousands of frustrated drivers have also signed an online petition that urges Uber and Lyft to take a smaller commission from fares or raise rates. The petition has gained over 7,000 signatures.
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