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Ride share driver says high gas prices and gas shortages could impact ride share services

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 6:59 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Rising gas prices and shortages are putting the brakes on many who rely on their vehicles for work every day.

This despite the announcement from energy secretary Jennifer Granholm Wednesday that the colonial pipeline has resumed operations.

The Colonial Pipeline going back online is good news for those who rely on gas for their livelihood, but one ride share driver said the gas pipeline situation hasn’t had a big impact on him.

However, but with the price of gas inching toward $2.80 per gallon, he said he can see how it would hurt any driver’s bottom line.

James Spraggins has been a ride share driver for about 6 years, so he’s learned how to navigate the ebb and flow of gas prices.

“It’s not really impacting me per se because thankfully, I drive a hybrid and I think if you’re gonna do ride share I think that’s something that people need to look into if they want to do ride share and actually make some money,” Spraggins said.

He said since his car operates on both gas and electric, he’s able to get more than 400 miles per fill up, which is especially important because he drives for work every day and the companies he works for don’t reimburse for gas.

“Out of our own pockets. I drive a lot. Aside from my Uber and Lyft, I also do Amazon Flex, which I have to use my own car as well. So, I’m driving at least 150 miles a day within the city of Birmingham,” Spraggins explained.

Spraggins said he fills up every other day, but his car only holds about 12 gallons of gas.

He said in the grand scheme of things, he’s not really paying as much as most people do.

But he said it’s imperative that the average ride share driver pays close attention to the price at the pump.

“I do know a lot of people that drive larger vehicles like pickup trucks and larger SUVs, and I’m sure if it keeps going up, it’s going to hurt their bottom line, because you want to be able to keep at least most of what you make. It may even prevent some of them from driving if it goes up too high,” Spraggins said.

Spraggins added that while rideshare companies don’t reimburse for gas, they do offer certain “perks” after you have a certain number of rides under your belt, which could help offset some the cost associated with gas.

He recommends drivers ask about those incentives, as well as invest in hybrid cars.

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