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Ride-share drivers struggling with record-high gas prices

Gas prices in San Diego have hit a record high for the 10th consecutive day, rising 1.1 cent Monday, to $6.261, and extending a streak of increases to 11 consecutive days.

Those prices are hurting people who drive for a living, such as ride-share drivers.

Lavina, who did not want to her full name used, has been driving for Uber for the past four years. Lately, she's noticed that there are few drivers driving now. The high cost of gas prices have caused some drivers to stop driving because they couldn't make ends meet.


Lavina said she still drove because passengers still rely on the service. But it comes at a cost.

"I have to work more per tank, and it's not adding as well as it used to," she said. She said she had to work 10-hour days just to make as much as she used to.

Both Lyft and Uber say they have added a surcharge to help drivers with gas costs. For Uber, the surcharge ranges from $0.45 to $0.55 per trip. It's $0.55 for Lyft. The surcharge goes directly to drivers, but, because it's per trip and not per mile, Lavina said it doesn't help that much.

In San Diego, the average price of gasoline has risen 24.3 cents over the past 11 days, including 2.1 cents Sunday, according to figures from the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. It is 18.6 cents higher than one week ago, 44.1 cents more than one month ago and $2.049 greater than one year ago.

The average price has risen $1.505 since Russia's invasion of Ukraine Feb. 24. And AAA says it's not stopping anytime soon.


"So, due to continued concerns about world gasoline supply and also this high demand that we do believe is going to continue through the summer, we do think that ... this increase in gas prices will continue, or at least stay around this level until the summer,” Auto Club of Southern California spokesperson Anlleyn Venegas said.

She said demand for Memorial Day travel increased by 11% this year. The price of crude oil has increased almost 70% since December, and crude oil price accounts for roughly 60% of the cost of gasoline.

Meanwhile, some ride-share drivers, such as William Rowe, have switched to electric or hybrid cars to combat rising gas prices. Rowe said he used to pay $120 a day for gas, but now he only pays $30 to charge his Tesla.

Rowe also said that, because drivers have been quitting, he's getting more business now. “It's actually giving me a lot of opportunities for better. ... I get more opportunities now, ” he said.

He recommends that drivers in San Diego switch to electric or hybrid cars if they can.