SAN ANTONIO — The rising price at the pump is impacting the livelihoods of rideshare drivers nationwide, resulting in less take-home pay and questions about their future behind the wheel.
What began as a side-gig in El Paso, eventually became a fulltime job in San Antonio for U.S. Army veteran Lehi Flores.
“If I didn’t have Uber or Lyft on my side, I probably would have been on the streets,” Flores said. “I was able to survive for about six months where I was in a financial burden.”
Flores journeys about 400 miles per day, using up to $50 worth of gas, which is double the cost compared to recent months. As a result, he’s driving less.
“I have to sit around and wait for calls so that way I’m not just burning fuel looking for a call,” Flores said.
The alarming fuel prices have led him to third-party apps such as GetUpside to receive cashback at select gas stations.
“It tells you where they have the most discounts at, and that’s how I end up managing on where to put fuel,” Flores said
Uber announced its temporary customer surcharge to help provide some relief for drivers due to the higher than normal gas prices.
Customers will pay a $0.55 surcharge on every ride and a $0.45 surcharge on most deliveries depending on their location.
Flores noted he’s able to work as a fulltime Uber driver and live comfortable because he receives disability pay and has the added cushion of a military pension.
“As long as I have the motivation and drive to keep working, then I don’t think I’m worried that I won’t have enough money to survive,” Flores said.