As gas prices soar, rideshare drivers are feeling the pinch

Rideshares drivers hit hard by rising gas prices
Posted at 9:11 PM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 02:11:54-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The current average for gas prices in Tennessee is about $3.96 a gallon. Just one week ago, gas was about 50 cents cheaper.

Now the high prices are impacting some people's jobs, like Lyft driver Joni Bicknese. In her eight years of driving, she has seen it all and driven them all. "Probably most notable- Steven Tyler twice," said Bicknese. "My favorite was Jim Parsons- Sheldon, Big Bang Theory, one of my favorite shows".

But in all her years of driving, she's never experienced this: "I am spending $45 to $50 a day on gas," said Bicknese. That's compared to the roughly $30 she used to spend on gas not long ago.

"It hurts really bad," she said.

Most drivers like Bicknese cover the costs of driving themselves, including gas. When passengers pay for a ride a percentage goes to the driver, while the rest goes to the company. So surviving the pandemic when passengers stayed at home was a struggle.

Bicknese said, "just to come out of that and now get hit with the gas prices- it is like getting hit in the gut," she said. "It's sometimes tough to put on a smile in the morning and get out there and do it."

Bicknese worries the rising gas prices will deter new and existing drivers, raising the cost of rideshares.

But she said there is a way passengers can help offset the new costs when it comes time to tip. "I do 20-30 rides a day and if everybody just throws in a buck or two it makes up for the gas difference," she said.