‘It’s crushing me:’ Tampa Bay Uber drivers feel sting of record high gas prices

Tampa, Fla. (WFLA) – Uber drivers are feeling the pain of a spike in gas prices after the price per gallon rose six cents overnight.

AAA says drivers in Florida are paying $4.53 per gallon at the pump. That is the highest price ever recorded.

“The rides just get lower and lower every time you turn on the app,” said Kevin Taber, an Uber driver in the Tampa Bay area.

Taber said he is seeing fewer profits than ever before and feels like he’s been robbed by Uber.

“I’ve never seen rides paying less than $4 a minimum ride and now you’re still seeing rides paying up to $3.98,” he said.

Some rides pay less than a gallon of gas. Taber says it’s a small cut from when he started driving for Uber six years ago and was earning 80 percent of the ride’s fare.

“It completely killed me,” Taber said. “It is crushing me. In my situation, when you’re out working 10-13 hours a day, I don’t have time to wait 25 minutes at Sam’s Club to save 15 cents.”

Uber is temporarily charging passengers a gas fee of 55 cents in the Tampa Bay area. The ride-sharing app says the money goes directly to the drivers.

Uber told News Channel 8 drivers in Tampa are not paid a commission. It is calculated based on what the driver earns on a ride: base fare, estimated trip duration and duration, and spike prices.

“I really don’t know where that surcharge is going,” he said.

Taber says he’s not relieved. He spends up to $200 a week on fuel. With gas prices up 6 cents overnight, Taber said the additional charge does not cover the increase in gas prices.

However, Uber says how much money drivers will make on a ride before accepting it.

“As long as motorists keep going, people don’t understand that we have a way to change that, but you have to have enough people to just say ‘no’,” he said.

News Channel 8 contacted Uber about this, and the ride-sharing app sent this message: “We’re temporarily extending the gas surcharge. We will continue to listen to driver and courier feedback and proactively notify them in advance of any changes. ”

Uber also said it continues to see an increase in drivers on its platform, with April being its best-ever month for active drivers since March 2020.

https://www.wfla.com/news/local-news/its-crushing-me-uber-drivers-feel-sting-of-record-high-gas-prices/ ‘It’s crushing me:’ Tampa Bay Uber drivers feel sting of record high gas prices

Alley Einstein

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