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Lyft drivers are hit hard by skyrocketing gas prices

Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 7:03 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Those making their living behind the wheel are feeling more pain at the pumps.

Unlike the average American ‚who can decide not to take that trip, Lyft drivers earn their living by the mile. One driver shares his concerns about the job that is costing him money.

“I have seen my profits take a major hit,” said Tonie Staten.

The Lyft driver makes his living on the road watching gas prices rise each trip.

“Yesterday, I picked up somebody from the airport, took them to Louisiana, and as soon as I got back, I had to gas up,” said Staten. “And then I picked up someone from a hotel not far from the airport; took them all the way to Winona.”

According to AAA, the average price for regular gas is down three cents in Jackson but up from $3.25 a month ago. Over the past two months, his income has dropped by about 40 percent.

“I was actually somewhere where gas was $4.00 yesterday, and I spent well over $80.00,” the amount to fill his Dodge minivan said the driver. “Then I turned around like maybe not even an hour ago just had to gas up again, and I spent about $75.00 then.”

The 31-year-old is not paid for travel time to pick up a passenger and is now avoiding long trips to go a short distance. Declining rides can result in penalties by the company.

Russia’s attack on Ukraine has played a role in oil prices worldwide. Analysts say while gasoline prices have eased slightly, a trip to the pumps will continue to be costly for the foreseeable future.

Staten said it would be easier if riders were ready when he arrived, so he wouldn’t waste gas idling and wearing masks.

“If gas prices don’t go down, I might have to get a part-time job, and I really don’t desire to be on anyone’s clock, but it’s really that serious,” added Staten.

Almost daily, the driver travels more than seven miles to pick up each rider.

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